Where We Gonna Go From Here.

I have a dilemma. It's kind of wedding related.

You see, I'm fine with having a long engagement. I'm not a particularly girly girl, I have never had dreams of pretty pink floral arrangements or floofy white wedding dresses. What I am though, is a planner. I need things organised. I like being in control.

(If you think that sounds bad, you should see my desk. Everything is in drawers, labelled, or in special compartments. I function so much better when things are sorted.)

With that said, here's where I'm befuddled. How much planning can one do for a wedding while living abroad? I know Janet pulled off a stunningly beautiful destination wedding in Mexico, and that I'm sure there are loads more of you that are much more experienced with all things wedding than I am.

I can look, yes. Thank goodness for websites - I can spend hours searching and exploring and trying to figure out options. But I'm hesitant to actually book anything without visiting first, without being there and exploring and seeing if it 'feels' right. It's the same with the church and the reception, and most other things too.

That being said though, and if I did leave it until I went home before I sorted anything out.. well, that leaves the slightly obsessive compulsive planner in me breaking into a cold sweat. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'm hoping for a May 2011 date - and if we're not heading home for another year, that really only leaves 5-6 months to sort everything out. Is that too short? And what am I supposed to be beforehand?


I'm not sure what I want. And I know it's early days, but I really want to start cracking along and following some kind of schedule. Or at least making my own list of things to do, so I can feel like I'm doing something, rather than just sitting here staring at my ring all day long.

Anyway, what do you all think? Planning-related thoughts and advice welcomed!

18 Comments • Labels: , ,  


Britt said...

Me and my labeller are best friends, so I feel ya on the organized department. That's why most of our wedding is completely planned 10 months out - I need organization! A plan! Lists! :)

May isn't right smack in the middle of wedding fever (although, Australia might be different - that's the end of summer?) so you may not have issues booking. The venue is what freaked me out the most and when I called, 13 months before our date (sept 4) all the Saturdays in July and August were booked. However, no one is forcing you to have your wedding on a Saturday either.

Perhaps you could do some research now? Narrow down the possibilities, prices, do you have to use their caterer? is there a corkage fee? etc. Make some google doc spreadsheets :) You could get some trusted family members to visit if you really wanted to. But at least if you have all your leg work done, when you get home, you'll be able to book as soon as you've seen them all.

Holy mamoth comment I'm leaving. Can you tell I'm excited about all things wedding? :)

Hazel said...

I know what you mean! I'm planning my wedding from one state over and unfortunately I cant go preview/taste test/or anything else anything! I drives me sort of crazy. I can only go by pictures and what other people say... but I hope in the end it all works out.

And I hope yours does as well!

Kelly said...

One of the girls I work with got engaged in February... and was married in August.
I was wondering how she did it, but she said it actually relieved a lot of pressure as she only had so many options due to the time. She ended up having a GORGEOUS wedding!
September is massive for weddings here, so I've heard. I want September... but May sounds lovely.
And hon, I've been staring at my ring for nearly three years! I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to try not to stress about the wedding - it's all about your lives together after the day, than the event itself. :)

~Mum~ said...

HELLO !!!!!!!!!!!!

your mother is here .. i can go check out places for you .. maybe kirby or Aunty Kim would come with me so you get TWO views

the venue is the ONE THING that I'd be making sure you had booked in advance.


Becs said...

Definitely listen to your mom! Look at everything online and make a list of places for her to check out. Have her take pictures and send them to you! That way she can book the venue which definitely needs to be booked in advance. Other than that, most of the stuff can be booked online.

Look up photographers online. Most of them have pictures posted so you can get a good idea of their style. I only talked to mine on the phone before I booked him and he was great!

Buy your dress locally so you can get the fittings over with early. Send your bridesmaids out to find their dresses. If they are local you can go with them. If they aren't have them send you pictures of ones they like.

A lot of the details you can plan in 5-6 months. I only had 10 months total and had no problems. The things my wedding planner told me to do early on were to book the church and reception venue, find a dress and find a photgrapher. Other than that, most other things can be handled when you get home, online, or you can send your mom out. Delgate girl!

Oh and I will definitely help you with out with the mass. I was completely lost when I started planning it out so I learned a lot! Let me know what you need!

Jess said...

Everyone I know who has had a short engagement said it was really a relief to worry about it for only a few months instead of a year or more. The only thing I'd worry about is that sometimes venues book up more than a year in advance. Maybe you can do some online scouting, and your mom could do some in-person scouting, and you could put a courtesy hold on a place so you at least have a backup plan? And then from there everything will come together, I think. And there are certain things you can do from afar... like dress shopping. And all the research into which vendors you want to meet with once you're there.

Sarah said...

I planned my wedding from California, to take place in Washington, and did it mostly all the the six months before our actual date, other than booking the park I'd been playing in since I was 2. I think 5-6 months is easily doable, although you might have to deal with places being booked already. Have a family member check them out for you and then you can do all the rest of the planning, and rebook if necessary, once you go home. Or if you go visit between now and then, just focus on choosing a place for the event! And the OCD planner in me feels your pain--good luck!

Noelle said...

Do you have someone on the scene who can report back for you?

Chris said...

Hey i like your blog! x
p.s.i have no wedding suggestions way out of my league girlfriend =)

The Casual Perfectionist said...

Sorry I'm late to the comment party and hopefully you already have this figured out. :) I think you should have someone local check it out for you and take photos (or even little video clips). In this day of technology, it's like you get a sneak peek at something. Granted, you won't know the 'feel'...but if you trust the people you have back there, it should work out.

If you're planning a truly destination wedding (meaning, no local people are there to help you), it's okay to give up some of the control and just do your research...

Good luck!!

Kerri Anne said...

Do you have any friends or family that can help scout places for you? My good friend just had a fantastic! destination wedding and heavily relied on friends and family from the biggest to largest details. It saved her time, stress and money, and what is more, it included important people in their day of celebrating. (What most people don't tell you is that most friends and family really do! want to help.)

Good luck! babe. And if for any reason you fancy a wedding on the Oregon Coast, I'd be happy to scout for you. ; )

Operation Pink Herring said...

You can do a lot of preparation and then book things lickety split when you do get home. First, I'd decide on what type of wedding you want to have... how many people, outdoors, indoors, church or no, etc. Then you can look online for places that fit your idea, you can email them for rates and ask in general, how far in advance they book up. Your mom seems quite willing to check places out, so she could go and give you her ideas (and pictures), and you could rank places and then when you get home, you could visit them all in one weekend and get something booked right away!

Other things you can think about and get out of the way: your dress... what kind do you want, you could try on some in London and decide on a style, or even on a designer and a specific dress and then start prowling Ebay and online secondhand shops (if you're OK with that). Having such a huge lead time, you're much more likely to find it. You can look at bridal party dresses and decide on what the guys will wear... you can think about flowers or just a color scheme... you can look at invitations and even pick those out, although you can't have them printed until you know your date and place... you can think about music, do you want a band or a musician for the ceremony, what kind, what songs... ooh, there's lots and lots you can do in advance, although I know it's a bit frustrating to spend so much time thinking about it and so little time getting anything checked off the list :) I would be happy to discuss AT LENGTH... just email me if you want to chat!

janet said...

Oh, thank you for the lovely shout out my dear! One thing that made my wedding planning bearable was 1) keeping things VERY simple. I know most brides say that, but we really tried hard to do it. and 2) keeping things small. It's much easier to coordinate from overseas for 40-50 people than 140-150 people, I think. Of course, some things will always be there (photog, flowers, etc) but for some reason I just think it makes it easier.

There's always eloping...only half kidding.

Whatever you choose will be great! love ya!

audrey said...

My sis-in-law got engaged in late June and is getting married in January -- so just about 6 months of plan time. She's a major planner, just like you (and me), and she's had no trouble getting everything sorted out in a not super long amount of time.

Amber from Girl with the Red Hair said...

Ugh, that is a dilemna! I am a HUGE planner too.

I guess my advice would be to start to keep track of things/venues etc. that you find online. Maybe try to narrow it down to 3-5 venues online and then make the FINAL decision when you can see it in person!

Good luck! My boyfriends cousin planned and pulled off a spectacular wedding in four DAYS so even though it would be incredibly stressful I'm sure you cuold plan it in 5-6 months!

Marianne said...

We did the destination wedding thing too. For us, it was a lot easier. We picked the dates, invited people, the wedding planner organized everything and emailed when we needed to make decisions. good luck, beautiful!

pixielation said...

Years ago I was sort of in your situation - I am an Aussie living over here in London too. My boyfriend was English - and now is also my husband. We ended up having a wedding and reception in Sydney, and a blessing and reception in Yorkshire. I was in Sydney 1 year before our wedding as a bridesmaid for a friend, so we chose the venue then, and I chose my dress and had a fitting. All the rest was done remotely. Loads done by my mum. It went pretty smoothly, other than dropping down 2 dress sizes between the first dress fitting and the second one a year later! Lucky it had a laced back that could be pulled in!

But for more practical advice - things like the venue can be booked solid quite a long time ahead, so if you get some ideas of what you like - do check on their availability. That way you'll have an idea if you're going to need to book them before you get back, or whether you can wait and see them first.

Other things will be no problem within that time constraint, so you can leave them until you get there.

Laura said...

Making a list of your prospective venues is one thing you can do to relieve your stress. I must say pictures over the internet sometimes could be deceiving. Who would show unarranged sites? What I can suggest is for you to listen to your friends and relatives who have gon to places in your list. They can help you judge about it.

I hope everything ends well. :)

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