How to Plan an Out-of-State Wedding
Hello, hello and happy Saturday! Lately, I have not been in the mood to write up these blog posts during the week. Maybe it is because I have a lot going on and when I get home from work, I’ve just been wanting to relax. I don’t know, but I am in a bit of a blog funk. Any ideas on how to get out of it? Should I just give myself a little grace and say “I’ll be better after the wedding?” or should I give myself a swift kick in the rear and just buckle down. You tell me.
It’s Friday afternoon currently and I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how to plan a wedding when you live 500+ miles away! I knew when we decided to get married in New Hampshire, that living in Virginia would complicate things. I guess I didn’t realize how much more difficult it would be until now, as I am smack dab in the middle of the end-stages of planning a wedding. So, because I have been in this process the last 14-ish months, I thought I would spread my knowledge to you, the internet universe. May these tips help you maintain the sanity I lost along the way 🙂
Tip #1: Hire a wedding planner.
Now, I understand that with a wedding planner, comes another vendor to pay out of that carefully crafted wedding budget you have been stressing over. But, hear me out. Our planner has been incredible!
I consider myself a very organized person. I mean, I have a wedding binder and a dedicated Google drive. However, despite previously planning numerous events, bachelorette parties, group travel, etc., I was totally unprepared for everything that goes into a wedding. If you are engaged and not getting married until 2020, maybe you can pull this off. Or maybe you have a mother that is so invested in this wedding, you won’t have to raise a finger. If either is the case for you, you may be golden.
If you are in a similar situation to myself, spend that money girl! Knowing that I do not have to stress about coordinating vendors, planning my day-of timeline, and handling problems on wedding day has saved me so much anxiety. SO MUCH. Especially since I live 550 miles away from said vendors and really can’t do much from here.
Tip #2: Plan to spend multiple weekends in the state you will be married in.
Factor it into your wedding budget. You will 100% be required to meet with vendors or find your venue in person, unless you are the most laid-back couple in the world. I have made four trips up to New Hampshire since our move to Virginia in May 2017 and will be up one more time before our wedding on June 23rd.
We luckily were able to secure our venue prior to moving, but if that is not an option for you, I strongly suggest you make that decision after seeing venues in person. They can look very different than they appear online. Other items I handled in-person include finding my wedding dress, finding bridesmaid dresses, cake tasting, and dress alterations. Vendors we booked via phone calls included photography, DJ, and wedding planner.
Tip #3: Organize those few weekends you do spend there!
We packed those weekends so full of wedding activities, that I had them timed to the hour some days. This is where organization really helps! On our last trip (2.5 days), we met with our officiant and wedding planner, I had a dress fitting, I had my hair/makeup trial, and my bridal shower. Yes, it was nutty, but it was a fun chaos and saved us hundreds because we didn’t have to spend two weekends in NH.
Tip #4: Delegate.
This one has been the hardest for me. I am *shudder* a control freak. There, I said it. I can be a major perfectionist and have a hard time letting go of certain tasks. This is mostly because I stress out knowing that I have to wait for other people to accomplish these things. But, when planning a wedding out-of-state, you need to hand off tasks that you don’t 100% have to complete yourselves.
We have put my parents in charge of ordering all of the alcohol for our reception, my brother is building certain decor pieces (to be later revealed), I have an aunt trying to track down a cake cutter, etc. Have I had a say in what exactly is being ordered/built? Of course! But, I’m trying to stress less about the little things and focus on the big picture here.
Final words of wisdom: Try not to freak out. Secure the big vendors first (if you can before moving). Know that not everything will be perfect (but really it will be because you’re getting married! eek!)
Any other advice you would give? Have you planned an out-of-state wedding before?
Be sure to check out all of my wedding-related posts here. Have a great weekend! 🙂