Several years ago, I got engaged and subsequently got married. I was living in Boston at the time, but our wedding was taking place in Evansville. We got engaged in December, and I knew time was of the essence if we wanted to tie the knot within the next year. Securing venues and vendors from 1,000 miles away is NOT the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
Planning a wedding can be stressful to begin with. Throw in the added element of distance, and there’s a good chance you’ll throw yourself into a full blown panic attack before you even set a date. Here are a few tips to ease the stress and maybe even make your wedding planning experience an enjoyable one!
This should probably be your first move once that ring is on your finger. A wedding planner can ease so much stress for you. They have vendor connections that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and they can make recommendations based on your personal style and preferences. Not to mention, they can physically GO to visit venues and vendors for you when you can’t be there! WIN!
Yes, I just gave you permission to be a stalker. You want to work with people you’re comfortable with, and social media accounts can give you a good idea of what your potential vendors are like as human beings. Instagram is a great place for this, but so are blogs and Facebook pages. If you’re unsure of where to even start with this, I would suggest searching hashtags on Instagram. So if you’re planning a wedding in Evansville, search #evansvillewedding or #evansvilleweddingphotographer if you’re looking specifically for a photographer. This also gives you a better idea of different vendors’ styles and specialties, which can be helpful when you’re narrowing down your choices.
There’s a time to be frugal and then there’s a time to know when to splurge a little bit. You certainly don’t want to hire someone based on their affordable prices alone. If you can’t meet with your potential vendors in person, schedule a FaceTime meeting or a phone call so that you can connect in some way other than email. Ask all of the questions you want to ask and make sure you feel totally comfortable with who you’re hiring. Believe me. Saving a few hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars isn’t going to serve you well when you’re freaking out a few weeks before your wedding day because your photographer isn’t responding to your emails – especially when you’re hundreds of miles away. In most cases, you really do get what you pay for. So decide what’s most important to you and invest accordingly.
When I was planning my Evansville wedding from Boston, I would come home for three to four days at a time and go wedding appointment crazy. Choose what days you’ll be visiting far enough in advance to make the necessary appointments with all of your vendors. Even if they don’t recommend the meeting, you still can. So for instance, if your wedding photographer thinks it’ll be totally fine if you just wait until your wedding day to meet in person, you can still reach out to him or her and let them know you’d like to meet when you’ll be in town. Once again, you want to trust and feel comfortable with your vendors, and meeting in person is the best way to do this!
When you make the initial inquiry with a vendor, you can usually get a good sense of what their communication style is like. Choose vendors with excellent communication. When you can’t be there in person, working with people who reach out to you regularly and genuinely care about you and your experience is so important. If you inquire with a vendor and don’t hear back for a week, I would be EXTREMELY wary of hiring them. Hire people who are prompt and who you know, without a doubt, are going to be there for you throughout the process.
Planning a wedding from afar isn’t easy, but it can be done. I’m living proof of that as are several of my former brides and grooms. Make wise decisions, work with people you trust and your wedding day will go off without a hitch!