Wedding Wednesday: How to Plan an Out of State Wedding

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This spring (especially the last few weeks) has been pretty busy.

As some of you know, when I first moved to Chattanooga, I had to wait several months before my apartment was move-in ready. During that limbo, I lived with Jordan’s grandmother. After I posted my last wedding wednesday (like within 10 minutes of pressing “post”), I received an urgent text from Jordan telling me to go over to his grandmother’s house. She passed away that afternoon.

To be honest, I haven’t been in the wedding planning / blogging/ social media mood since then… It’s been very hard to move forward with wedding planning feeling like there will be such a big absence on our special day. Before she passed, she got to see a picture of me in my wedding dress and she got to look at our engagement pictures. Even though she won’t be there physically, I know she will be there with us in spirit. I miss her terribly.

This morning I got back into planning, I officially scheduled my bridals & FINALLY sent off my first batch of save the dates!

In the south, it’s traditional for the bride & groom to get married in the bride’s hometown. As I said above, I live in Chattanooga, TN but we are getting married in Augusta, GA. It is a 4 hour drive to Augusta so it’s just far enough that I can’t make the round trip in a day. (Though, I have done that before… like to vote in the primary election this year.) So I have been planning our wedding out of state.


photo by Jeri Ann Photography 

Here are some helpful tips that I’ve found helpful for planning a wedding out of state:

  1. Have a point person in the city (wedding planner, relative, friend). My mom is great about this. I can’t stress how helpful my mom has been with the entire wedding planning process. She really treats wedding planning as a “team effort” and has taken care of a lot of the contracts by herself. I also have my dear friend Jackie in Augusta who has offered to run small errands if I need her too. I haven’t taken her up on this yet, but I have a feeling I will be calling her a lot this fall. Jackie, if you’re reading this, thank you! <3
  2. Double up! Schedule multiple appointments for one weekend. Plan your engagement pictures on a weekend that you’ll already be in town. My trips home are way more planned/ scheduled now that I’m in the thick of wedding season.
  3. Keep an active wedding-to-do iPhone note. This is good advice for anyone planning a wedding- different state or not. That way when I am planning a trip home, I can look at my iPhone note and see what I need to do. I keep my note on my phone because it’s close to me almost 24-7 so I can write down my ideas the second that I think of them.
  4. Book vendors far in advance. When you’re out of town, everything takes longer. Allow yourself a lot of cushion time in case an appointment gets canceled.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember WHY you’re getting married. When wedding planning stresses me out and gives me anxiety… like the fact that we haven’t finished asking the bridal party, save the dates aren’t sent out, and I don’t have people to do my hair and make up…. I remember WHY I’m getting married. I’m marrying Jordan because I love him and I don’t want to go through life without him. I had the opportunity to grab breakfast with my sweet friend, Stasia, passing through town last weekend and she gave me some of the best advice, she said, “it’ll be beautiful, the people who want to be there will be there, and at the end of the day, you’ll be married to Jordan.”

Did you get married in a different state? Do you have any long distance wedding planning advice?

Ciao for now!