Feature Photo: XO Auzree
Planning from a distance. Those few words may cause stress at a first glance, but as an event planner that is the last emotion I want you to be feeling. Whether you are planning a wedding, bridal shower, birthday party, corporate event, etc., I can assure you that it is possible to coordinate your event without being physically present!
How does someone plan an event from out of state? Some challenges will inevitably arise -the difference in time zones, inability to meet with vendors on a whim, and wanting to see venues or have a tasting may make it seem like planning is impossible to complete. Let’s talk about a few things that can be done to alleviate these:
- Hire a local planner to be your eyes and ears. I’ve been lucky to work with many couples that live in different states. With ties to Madison, these couples dream of having their big day in Badger Country and want to make sure it’s done right. We typically have flexible schedules to accommodate trips, errands, and meeting times (even with time zone differences). We know the vendors already to save you tons of time on Google and Thumbtack searches hoping that you made the best decision. Finally, we know the area and can give insight on places for guests to visit, hotels to stay in, and transportation methods to get around town. While it is sometimes an investment into the budget that couples don’t consider at first, I guarantee you no one has ever regretted the service. Planning should be fun!
- Plan a few trips to your destination before the big day. You’d be surprised by how much you can get done in one weekend. Whether it’s touring venues, meeting with florists, timing the walk from ceremony to reception, or making sure the hotel is up to par, your vendors are happy to accommodate your travel schedule. According to TheKnot.com, in 2015, 49% of couples were married over 200 miles away from where they live. We are all used to weekend or evening meetings as needed to accommodate your schedule, and honestly no more than 2-3 would be needed for most.
- Enlist the help of a local family member or friend that understands your vibe. While a local connection may not replace the knowledge and experience a planner can bring, it never hurts to have a personal touch. Want to send mom on the tour with an iPhone and Facetime? Perfect. Even if you can’t be here, we’re happy to work with another designated decision maker in the area. We just pre-warn you to make sure you trust this person and know you are on the exact same page for vision, so that there isn’t $1,000 worth of flowers at the ceremony you weren’t expecting.
Planning an event, no matter where it is located, is an exciting and elaborate process. It requires time, patience, and decision making, but can be simple and enjoyable! When deciding to embark on the planning of your special event just remember that while you can’t be there, your planner and others can be there for you. Your event will be spectacular and your guests will be “wowed” just as if it was all coordinated in your own backyard.