Long-distance wedding woes

Something New


It's not uncommon for engaged people living in the Peace Region to plan their weddings from afar. After all, many couples up here decide to have destination weddings during the never-ending winter in order to combine their Big Day with a big honeymoon (and escape the brutal weather).

Planning a wedding from a long ways away isn't easy; it's not like you can scope out your venue in person or see to the final details until you land in sunny Mexico or Hawaii; really, you're putting a lot of faith in people who are far, far away from you.

I do not recommend this option if you're a control freak.

For me, I'm planning my wedding from afar, too, but the difference between my wedding and these tropical beach vacation weddings is that mine isn't tropical at all.

It's going to be your normal, traditional wedding on Vancouver Island over 1,400 km away from here with around 100 guests coming from all over the country. That's all well and good and seems typical enough, until you look at how far away I am from everything and the amount of work I have to do from afar.

Planning a destination wedding is much easier than what I've been dealing with, and on ugly, cold days like these, I tend to wish I had booked something for Bora Bora instead.

For one, destination weddings are often served as packages, whether it's a travel package or all-inclusive deal purposely catered for tropical weddings. In a way, that's pretty simple, like a one-stop shop, and everything is ready for you when you get off the plane. "Oh look, I'm in Maui and my whole wedding's been planned for me. Sweet!"

It's either that or the couple just gets married on a beach with a couple of witnesses and waves to serenade them. Easy peasy.

For two, destination weddings are usually a lot smaller in size since guests have to fly pretty far to make it, and many choose not to go or can't take the time off of work. Smaller weddings means less planning and less worry about making everyone happy. Because, really, who wouldn't be happy spending a week on a hot, sunny beach with bottomless drinks in their hand?

So, here I am, 1,400 km away from my wedding venue with no wedding planner and no sweet and simple package deal waiting for me when I land on the Island next July.

It's not easy, even though my mom, sisters and friends back home on the Island have been helpful and trying to do things or seek out options for me while I'm so far away.

I have to rely on photos texted to me or phone conversations in order to make a decision, rather than seeing things or trying things out for myself in person. I can't simply say, "Look, this is what I want." I have to trust other people's judgments instead of my own, and that's hard, because for my wedding I want things done a certain way and from here, I can't really make sure that happens.

I can't imagine what I would be like if I were a Bridezilla or a control freak. It's already stressful enough and I consider myself a pretty laid back person.

Especially hard is working with our decorator, who has seen my Pinterest boards and I've explained what I want, but I know it's not getting across because of her last meeting with my mom. It's really frustrating that I'm not there looking at her table set up for my wedding, and I can't move this here or put that there or say, "no that's not working." I can't do any of that.

I'm doing my best though, and I've started making sketches of table plans to send to my mom and the decorator so that I can really get across what I want and need. Obviously things like cake testing or meeting with my photographer are out of the question, but that's out of my hands.

One thing I'm learning in all of this is when to just let things go.

With six months to go, I still have some things to book as well, like a DJ, bartenders, a commissioner and someone to make our cake. We have everything else, including a photographer, decorations, a caterer and centerpieces (after one heck of a time). I think the centerpieces' dilemma should have a column of its own.

But really, when I think about it, there's only six months to go. Another issue with being so far away from our wedding site is it's easy to let things slide or put things on the back burner because they're not right in front of you - the issues are 1,400 km away.

One of my resolutions for the New Year is to stop procrastinating (and to lose weight for the wedding, but that's another story).

After all, I may be far away, but the wedding isn't.

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