The idea of getting married someplace far away can be magical and exciting. But whether you've chosen a destination wedding venue that's just a few states away or one that you and your guests will need a passport to go to, planning a long distance wedding can have a couple of twists that come along with it. So if your "big day" requires a plane or a train for you to get to, keep these seven things in mind when planning your destination wedding.
1. You'll Be Married to Google
Planning a wedding that isn't in your backyard means that you'll have to do a lot of research. You won't be able to hop in the car to meet with vendors face-to-face or even ask local friends for suggestions. A lot of your free time will be searching for vendors in the area and reading their reviews.
2. You May Need to Fly There a Few Times
You may get some anxiety over the fact that you can't swing by the venue every month or see how decorations or centerpieces will look until the weekend of the wedding. It may help ease some stress and nerves if you book a trip to the destination of your wedding every couple of months.
3. Consider Hiring a Local Planner or Coordinator
Having someone local on the ground will help you feel comfortable with planning your wedding along the way. You can hire a wedding planner to help you pick your venue and your vendors or a day-of coordinator to be behind-the-scenes with you on your big day in case you need anything.
4. You'll Need to Bring Some Extra Baggage
Pack some empty bags with you when you head out for your wedding weekend. You'll use them for all the items you want to take home with you from the wedding, like gifts and any other wedding memorabilia.
5. You'll Want to Arrive Extra Early
Since there is travel involved with getting to your wedding, be sure to head over to your destination a couple of days before you say "I do." Travel can be stressful, so the earlier you can get there, the better.
6. Your Guests Will Want Some Time to Explore
Since the location of your wedding may be a place your guests have never been before, give them some free time during the weekend to explore. You can even stuff their welcome bag with some local items or a map.
7. Things May Get Stressful
It's not easy planning a wedding when you're far away from your wedding venue. But when things get stressful, read online stories or view online photos of other weddings at your venue. You'll start to feel better knowing other people have pulled off the wedding of their dreams there.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.