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Let’s say you live and work in Chicago but your hometown is Reno, Nevada, and that’s where your wedding will take place. So, how do you plan a wedding-to-remember from afar? Follow these 5 steps to ease your planning.

• Think and plan ahead

Before you even begin to take on specific tasks yourself, and assign duties to others, you should have been planning, saving ideas on Pinterest, and sharing those ideas with everyone who is going to help. Ideally, you’ve been planning for months in advance, so you can readily specify a wedding style, theme, ambience, and colors.

• Form “home” and “away” teams.

Your “home” team is the group of people on the ground in Reno. They will be instrumental in site logistics and detailed planning. They may include your parents, future in-laws, siblings, and other close relatives and friends. The “away” team most likely is you and your spouse-to-be. You’ll be conferring with and directing the home team and will be handling many of your personal details as well.

• Make “home” and “away” lists of duties

Make a common-sense based list of things to do for those on the home and away teams. Following are some basic guidelines of tasks that seem logical for each.

  • Home: rehearsal location; rehearsal dinner location and menu; ceremony and reception site; caterer; florist; photographer; hair stylists and makeup; music. For example, as a member of the home team, your mother may have a thing for flowers and be ideally suited to working with florists, or creating her own. Your father, meanwhile, may have a thing for machines and might enjoy arranging for limos or other transportation options.
  • Away: bride and bridesmaids’ dresses; tuxedoes or suits; save the date cards; invitations.

Many of the decisions made by both home and away teams will be through a collaborative, deliberative process. Throughout the planning process, you’ll need to be in constant communications with the home team. This is vital in clarifying your desires and choices.

• If you can, plan a visit

If you’re able to make a trip back home, by all means do so to meet with your home team, and to schedule a round of visits with vendors. While you’re on home turf, be sure to check out the regulations and procedures for obtaining a marriage license. In most cases, the county clerk’s office handles these duties, but check to be certain.

• Don’t let perfect become the enemy of good

Because you are not home all the time, don’t let a desire for perfection become the enemy of good. You can have a good — even great wedding — and it does not have to be perfect. Every wedding has a little adventure here and there. So, let it go, relax and indulge in the wonder of the day.

Mark L. Hendrickson, Bliss Paper Boutique

 

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