It’s time for another #WeddingWednesday! Lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for wedding planning (I never thought I’d say that!). I originally wanted a fall wedding because I love the flowers that are in-season and the crisp, cool weather. But one of Steve’s few requests was to not plan a wedding that could conflict with football games, so we had a spring wedding. Now seeing everyone’s fall hues and sunflower bouquets, I am getting a little jealous!
I also mentioned feeling nostalgic because there was one part in particular of planning a long distance wedding that I really enjoyed with Steve. That was planning a long-distance wedding. Our wedding was about five hours from Chicago, so we designated a few weekends to drive to Dayton, Ohio, and do some in-person meetings and logistics. I cherish memories of those weekends because it was just the two of us – neither of our families are from Dayton – and we were acting as a team. I went to college in the city but a lot has changed, so in between vendor meetings we explored the city for a good cup of coffee or took a break at a brewery.
Long-distance weddings are admittedly hard work and require you to have time to travel, unless you have someone in the city you trust to make all the in-person decisions. There are lots of things to consider before you choose to have your wedding in another city, such as:
- How many times should I plan on traveling to the city before the big day, and do I have that availability?
- What will it cost for my partner and me to travel and stay to where our wedding is being held? Do we want to add on those expenses to our wedding budget?
- Are there places I can store all of my wedding décor/favors/outfits/etc. ahead of time or can I travel with it?
- Is there a point-person in the city who can offer recommendations or help should something go wrong while we’re not there? (For us, we had event planners, friends and family about 45 minutes away who offered any help should we need it.)
- Is it somewhere my guests can easily get to, and if not, how do I feel about asking them to make this trip?
And while planning a wedding long-distance might sound overwhelming, there were several benefits for us. Hence, why we chose to get married in Dayton, instead of Chicago. We liked:
- Each trip to Dayton felt like a small getaway as a couple. The road trips were bonding experiences and once we were in the city we could focus on each other and the planning.
- Looking to hold our wedding in a city other than Chicago helped us zero in on venues that we loved AND fit our budget.
- A wedding for out-of-town guests made it a true party. Most of our guests came to the after-party because their other option was going back to the hotel – and no one likes to leave a party early!
- My family and friends who attended the University of Dayton really appreciated being back on campus, and showing all of the other guests what was so special about the school and city!
- Most of all, by the time we arrived in Dayton, days before our wedding, I was calm. I was hundreds of miles away from work, from our messy apartment, from our day-to-day life, etc. I’d already packed everything we’d needed, made check-lists of to-dos, and was able to just focus on the days ahead.
There may be some extra work involved, but in the end finding somewhere that means a lot to you and your partner can be worth it.