They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and, in the case of long-distance relationships, we imagine that this is very much the truth. The difficulties of a long-distance relationship (or LDR) are notorious, yet we all know at least one person who’s been in one (perhaps that person is you) and forged on despite the hardships.
So what makes a successful LDR? Couples in long-distance relationships say that having a clear picture of a shared future is key. But how on earth are we going to plan a wedding when we live so far apart?!
We put together some tips to help you tackle this new challenge and we asked some former LDR Brides to chime in too. If there’s anyone who can get through this, you know it’s you! So read on to find out more!
This sounds so unromantic, we know, but one thing you want to avoid in a long-distance relationship is losing your precious communication time. Your regular phone calls and video calls likely function as your main means of bonding, so don’t let the planning process take over completely. Instead, set time aside in every given week specifically for wedding planning. This will also have the side effect of helping both of you become more focused during those scheduled meetings and more relaxed in regular conversations.
Is your partner abroad a foreign national? Perhaps a Filipino with permanent residency in another country? How does this affect the legal requirements for your marriage? If the absent partner is also Filipino, will they need to be personally and physically present for any part of the application for marriage license?
Make a quick list of all the technical hurdles you might encounter given the absence of one partner. You may need to get proxies, send authorization letters, or fly in once or twice before the wedding. So the sooner you get these requirements sorted out, the better!
You and your life partner-to-be are going to have to work like real partners to make this wedding happen. But if either of you fall back on assuming that the other person is just going to take care of one task or another, then you’ve failed at properly communicating. Instead, clearly divide the tasks based on each other’s schedules and work styles early on. This doesn’t mean you can’t help each other out as you move forward, but with so much distance between the two of you, having a clear point person for every major task is a good idea.
You may also want to consider hiring a wedding planner or even asking for help from family and friends. You will still have to be clear about task delegation–especially with family–but having some extra people on the ground to help is especially useful when planning a wedding in an LDR relationship.
You have the unique opportunity to add something different to the wedding by getting a little something from each partner’s location. If not buy supplies or a dress abroad like Anna did above, then you could get chocolates for a sweet giveaway from your fiancé living in Switzerland, have the printing of your invitations done in Hong Kong, or pick from the variety of men’s dress shoes in the UK. You get the picture!
For the partner closer to the wedding venue, the focus should be on booking good local suppliers for things like food, flowers, and other items that go up in price when they come from far away.
How do you communicate exactly what you want to your vendors when they are miles away? Show them examples! Forward photos or pictures of things you like to your vendors as pegs for certain looks and moods. You can find most anything on Pinterest or Google with the right key words! You can even have mock-ups done by people/suppliers close to you so that you can have a better feel of the final product. Take your bouquet, for example: You can send a photo of a sample you had made to your florist on location who can then replicate it based on your mock-up.
Gone are the days of having to meet in person to get things done. This is true in pretty much all areas of life and wedding planning is no exception! There’s a lot of logistics and coordination that goes into putting a wedding together and, needless to say, organization plays a big part in making it all go smoothly.
Having online tools like Google Drive and Dropbox make it possible to share files with key persons so you can all access, refer to, and edit them online. No one has an excuse for not being up-to-speed as you can check anything on your mobile phones, anytime and anywhere.
Planning a wedding while in a long-distance relationship is far from impossible. In fact, if you stick with these tips, you might even end up with a more well-organized wedding than most! We can’t promise it will be easy, since LDR couples who “make it” are a tough breed. So keep calm and let us know how it goes!