Out of state weddings? How do I pull this off?

Question by Meggie Smalls: Out of state weddings? How do I pull this off?
My fiancee is originally from Alabama where most of his family lives. I am originally from Ohio where most of my family lives. We now reside in Florida where many of our friends live and some of my family. We also have family spread throughout Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, California, the Virginias, etc…
We’re planning a Mobile, Alabama wedding but how do I do this when I live in a completely different state? Any advice?
His parents have offered their house for the ceremony… But we’re worried about reception site.. Should I ask my soon to be in laws for opinions/ help with this?

Best answer:

Answer by Vanessa
Have a destination wedding and invite your closet family from all over to join.

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5 thoughts on “Out of state weddings? How do I pull this off?”

  1. I am in the same situation, my family is in TX and MS, my fiance’s is in NY, we live in PA and we have friends scattered from coast to coast. We decided to have the wedding in a spot that everyone would enjoy since most are going to have to travel no matter where we have it, so we settled on Clearwater, FL. Which means I am planning my ENTIRE wedding over the internet (dum-dum-dum!). It is terrifying but I am trying to ask all the right questions and do the best I can. I’m also trying to schedule at least one visit there before the actual date. Just do what you can and find people that you really feel like you can trust to assist you. That’s the best that I can tell you. Good luck!

    Just thought I’d add that, when doing this, the first thing you have to do is LET GO of thinking that everything is going to be perfect. Take a more relaxed approach and realize that, when doing things from afar, you aren’t going to get every detail.

  2. You plan it as a destination wedding. First, get a wedding consultant or coordinator. Let them do the footwork in Mobile. They already have contacts there, adn know through experience what’s worked for other brides they’ve helped. Once she gets a bunch of things together, plan a weekend where you can go and look at everything and approve it all. Our wedding was planned with a few emails and 1 weekend trip to check it out for ourselves. It can be done.

    I would caution, though. This is not the kind of wedding for someone to have who is super-detail oriented, as you’ll need to give a bit of control over to the professional and trust her to do the right thing. For example, I requested a white flowered bouquet, but I don’t care which white flowers they bring. I’m not getting involved at all in the decorations or linens, etc where our luncheon will be held after the wedding.

  3. If you can afford it, then you should offer to pay for all their plane tickets. However, I know most people cannot afford to do so. If this is the case, then I suggest to invite everyone, and with a note that says “Dear friends, I know that due to the far location of our wedding, many of you will not be able to attend. I regret your abscence, but rest assured that gifts or letters will be welcomed at the following address.” But, if it’s your mother who lives in Ohio, and you want to invite her, and she can’t afford the ticket, then by all means, it would be entirely fitting that you cover the travel costs.

  4. you can do all your research on the internet. look for caterers, venues, dj’s, everything you could possibly need, and schedule in-person consultations all on the same day/weekend/week. then take a trip with hubby to test everything and make sure everything is what you imagined. make sure you have back-ups in mind, because (guess what), people lie on the internet! so make sure the place really looks like the pictures, the cake really looks like the cake, etc…..

  5. A lot of brides and grooms have this problem and because of that, a lot of couples have destination weddings, as others have already said. Destination weddings used to be far away beach-themed parties, but now it simply means that you’re picking a location that isn’t your hometown or where you currently live. Usually, it’s meant to make it easier on all your families and friends who reside all over the country.

    Just remember that you’re not going to make everyone happy and you can’t worry about it. You need to do what you want and not worry about those who disagree with your plans. I agree with the person who said to include a note with the invite about how you know not all your friends will be able to make it because of the traveling involved and that you will miss them, but understand, but I would NOT point out that you still expect a gift. If they want to get you one, they’ll ask around, and your family and close friends will tell them where you’re registered.

    I would also start a wedding web site. You can do it for free and they’re easy to create with easy fill-in templates. Because all your friends and family are so scattered, you can always just send out a quick e-mail telling everyone to check-in with your wedding website when there have been updates. You can have all the ceremony and reception info, the bridesmaids and grooms attire on there, directions, hotel info, and your registry. It’s so convenient for you and for them.

    You’ll end up using the internet a lot. If you can afford it, hire a coordinator to do everything for you. If not, just be really organized about a schedule. Make lists of venues, florists, caterers, bakeries, etc. that you want to visit when you go to Mobile, AL to check everything out. You’ll probably have to make a lot of decisions on the spot so just have a good idea of what you want when you get there. Bring pictures with you so that your florist and baker will know what flowers and cake you want. Let them know that you need to do a lot of communication via e-mail and fax. Destination weddings are so popular these days, I’m sure they’ll be very helpful. Enlist the helps of reliable friends and family if they’re willing to be of assistance.

    Finally, to make sure that your out-of-town guests feel welcomed, I would suggest making “welcome baskets” for everyone’s hotel room. You can fill them with things that are all-local, like foods, candles, etc. Or even just maps and things to do in their spare time. Even inexpensive snacks and bottles of water is nice. Just to make them feel at home, and as an added “thank you” for taking the time out of their schedules to come to your wedding.

    Just have fun with it! Be organized, know what you want, and you’ll have a great wedding.

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