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Tips for Planning a Long Distance Wedding

Updated on September 19, 2008

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Plan Your Long Distance Wedding

Long distance weddings can be tricky. Here's some tips that will help it go smoothly:

1 - If you're planning your wedding someplace exotic because it's your dream, stick to your dream. However, if you're choosing a long distance vacation to accommodate far away family members, don't.

No matter where you have your wedding, some people won't come and some people won't be happy. You can not convenience everyone. The ones that aren't convenienced will be especially unhappy.

Choose your dream location, or your home town, or where you live right now, or a place that is special to you.

Don't forget this is your day. This is a celebration thrown to celebrate you and your partner. It's not a party for anyone else but you. If the guests can't get behind that fact, then really it's just as well that they decline your invitation.

2 - Some people aren't coming.

Accept that fact before you even address the invitations. Some people don't want to be inconvenienced, some people don't like to travel. Some people can't take time from work or money from savings to go to Paris or Hawaii for 3 or 4 days.

Accept the fact that a long distance wedding means a much smaller attendence.

That's not a reflection on you. It doesn't mean they don't celebrate your life choice and it certainly doesn't mean you should abandon your dream wedding.

3 - Consider a second informal reception for your return.

Think about it this way: You celebrate Christmas Day with your immediate family. But you went to the neighbor's Christmas Party the week before, and the office holiday party the week before that. You met your friends from college for a holiday drink in the city. And on Christmas Eve you and your roommates did your own thing.

You spread out the Holiday celebration over several different gatherings so you can visit with all your family and friends. If you don't get to see them on exactly Christmas Day, you don't say, "Well screw it then, they aren't part of the holiday."

Your nuptials can be the same way. Just because you can't see everyone on exactly the wedding day doesn't mean you can't party with them a little bit as well.

Don't add crazy-unnecessary pressure to yourself or your bank account by throwing some big second reception. But a nice barbecue or picnic would be appropriate and fairly easy.

If your family or soon to be in-laws offer to throw an at-home clam bake for your return, let them. Don't look at that as an affront to your dream wedding. See it for the gift that it is, and celebrate with them as well.

When you send out your wedding invitations, you could enclose a separate card announcing the informal gathering for when you return. That way the people who can't fly to your away destination will know they weren't a second thought, and they can still feel they're a part of your celebration... even if they have to decline on the trip to Vegas.

4. Who do you have to pay for? Just yourselves.

If you know your parents or a sibling are cash tight and you want them there, then it's going to be up to you to pay. But there is no social obligation for you to pay for the travel arrangements for anybody in the bridal party or anyone else for that matter. It's part of accepting the responsibility of being a brides maid or an usher However, when you ask people to be in your bridal party, you should give them a clear idea of how much money it's going to cost.

There are two sides to this. The people you wish to invite need to be honest and responsible enough to decline if they can't (or don't want to) spend money on a trip to Rome. And in return, you need to be gracious enough to understand that not everyone has been saving for your wedding for years the way you have. You can not expect anyone to be able or willing to plop down the dinero for your wedding. You have to be able to accept the answer some people will give.

As for the wedding: hey, you have guests that plunked down hundreds maybe thousands of dollars. Granted, it's not all for you, some of it is for their own enjoyment and getaway. However, it is because of you that they are in that given place at that given time. The least you can do is show them a good time. You can't hold back when it comes to the actual party. You have to spring for the open bar, the best meal, a great night of dancing, eating and celebrating.

Spring for a few extras, too. Like the brunch the next day, or the taxi cards for to and from the airport. Let the venue help you with suggestions.

One last note on the funds: the people that did accept the responsibility and cost of being in your bridal party need to be recognized for going above and beyond. Instead of the classic pearl earrings for the ladies and a watch for the guys, a better bridal party gift might be part or all of their hotel stay. You might also want to tell your bridal party that you and your fiance will not accept wedding gifts from them: their travelling to be with you on your special day is more than gift enough.

5 - The wedding itself should be as stress-free as possible.

If a package is offered by the resort or cruise-line, take it. Just take it. If you're flying home to Puerto Rico for the wedding and your grandmother offers to handle the flowers, let her. Just let her.

You'll have enough stress without sweating out all the little details. Relax and be flexible. If you requested ivory table cloths and they only had ecru, deal with it. If they have a house band or DJ, take it. You can listen to Fluke when you get back home. I'm sure their selection is good enough. If grandma picks cabbage roses instead of tea roses, don't let that ruin your wedding.

If you're one of those control people that has to have every little thing a very certain way, then do not opt for a long distance wedding. It's too hard to control the details from far away.

Even if you do surrender some control to family or the resort, it is still guaranteed that several things will go unexpectedly, differently, or just plain wrong. Don't get twisted over it. Don't ruin your day.

If you like this HUB please click the “Thumbs-Up” below just before the comments.


All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.

All photos are used with permission.

All text is original context by Veronica.

If you liked this HUB, please click the "Thumbs Up" before the comments. Thanks!


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    caribbean girl 

    9 years ago

    I live on the island of st. croix and island people don't like when you plan your wedding ahead of time and many, not all are uncooperative when you're trying to get your plans together. Especially family members!!!! They keep saying you have time! well, I want to be a stress free bride and have nothing to do by the month before the wedding. Some seem unpleased that I am sending out my invitations 6 months in advance. I see it this way, If you're really happy about my upcoming wedding then you will place the invitation somewhere where you won't forget it. Whomever doesn't come I'll still be happy anways!!!!

  • profile image

    Caribbean Travel Guy 

    10 years ago

    This is an excellent page! I had a destination wedding / Caribbean honeymoon package pretty much set up for me and it actually turned out to be perfect. However, I still wish I would have read your destination wedding advice first. Read up people!

  • Marisa Wright profile image

    Kate Swanson 

    10 years ago from Sydney

    Good Hub as usual! I got married on a Greek island. My advice would be - if you're going to do it, find a hotel that will do EVERYTHING for you. Get on and check out the reviews of hotels that do it. It's hard enough trying to organise an overseas wedding without having to agonise over details. Personally, all we had to do was turn up in our wedding finery - everything else was taken care of.

    Another important tip - it's often very difficult to arrange a legal marriage overseas. Many people end up having the legal ceremony at home, either before or after, and just have a blessing or confirmation of vows at the resort. We got married legally before we left and although we hadn't planned it, ended up having a few friends over to witness and then went for a meal at the local restaurant. It was great!

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    GREAT ADVICE! I wish I had found this before I had my wedding in Hawaii. I would have taken your suggestions on several things. You're so right, I should have let it be more stress free, and I wish I had been better prepared for how many people just weren't going to come. Great article, thanks for publishing it.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY

    Goodwitch, excellent idea your friends had. Sounds like everyone got what they wanted and had a great time! Good for them!

  • Goodwitch profile image


    11 years ago

    I had friends who got married on St. Barts. It was just the two of them, their "dream" wedding, a very intimate ceremony between two people. No one was invited. However, they had a wonderful, informal reception a few weeks after they returned. And the great part was they were able to celebrate too, it was a party, not a formal wedding reception (which gets rid of 1/2 the stress right there)!

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 

    11 years ago

    No. 3 sounds very smart! Great hub!

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    This is great!! I am getting married August 2008 in Califrornia (I'm living in NY) and I am only doing it to be "convenient" to my inlaws. But what about my family and friends. And what about my dream wedding, which is in a European castle like in Scotland or Ireland.

    There's so much this gave me to think about it. It is MY wedding after all. Why should I give up my dream wedding because it doesn't suit everyone on my boyfriends side??

    Thanks so much for writing this! Him and me are going to have a long talk when he gets home@@@@


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