How To Plan Your Long Distance Wedding, Part 1: Choosing Your Wedding Type

by LDR Mag
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Planning a long distance wedding is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. It will be a story that you can tell over and over again -your love story of defying the odds of distance.

This is new territory though. Everyone knows how to plan a normal wedding, but not everyone knows how to plan a Long Distance Wedding. If you are the bride & groom-to-be planning a wedding like this can be downright scary. But don’t fret.

In honor of your engagement and the special day you will soon have, this is our early gift to you; A guide on how to plan your long distance wedding. These tips will save your life, your time and your sanity as you plan your big day.

We will introduce you to new ideas and new ways of hosting a wedding event that will be as special as the story of your relationship together.

Keep up with our Long Distance Wedding series, and follow our new Long Distance Relationship Wedding Board on Pinterest where we’ll be regularly pinning new finds in connection with this article series!

Let’s get started!

What is a Long Distance Wedding?

A long distance wedding occurs when two people from two different locations decide to tie the knot. They are typical of persons who have been in serious long distance relationships. Sometimes they can occur when two people who may not have been long distance split apart for the duration of their engagement, or decide to move just prior to their wedding date but most of the time Long Distance Weddings are Long Distance Relationship exclusive.

There are three types of Long Distance Weddings:

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● Single Location: Weddings that require friends and family from both locations conjoin in a single location to enjoy the wedding occasion.

● Dual Location: Weddings that take place in two locations –yes, this means they have two weddings, to involve friends and family without inconveniencing them.

● Live Streamed: Weddings that have ‘live-streamed guests’ and take place in what you could say is two locations; digital and physical. These kinds of weddings are streamed to different locations around the world from the main event.

The First Step in planning a long distance wedding is to examine your circumstances and choose the type of wedding you want: Single, Dual or Live-Streamed?

There are lots of advantages and disadvantages for each of these wedding types. We’ve broken them down for you in the chart below. Use it to decide what wedding type would work best for you.

Wedding Type

Pros

Cons

Single Location Wedding 

Friends and family from both locations conjoin in a single location to enjoy the wedding occasion.

It’s less expensive to host a wedding in a single location than the alternative options. You get to enjoy the event with most or all of the people you care about –all of them being physically close to you.

You can stick to the standard of a more familiar traditional wedding, with less unexpected hiccups.

You can turn your wedding into a destination wedding! Some of which are much cheaper and much less work than planning an entire wedding yourself.

Guests who live far away may not be able to attend or have to travel long distances to attend the event. Depending on the location, your guests may have to spend extra money on lodging, two-way travel and food expenses.

Some Possible Solutions to the Cons of a Single Location Wedding:

● If you find that some guests will not be able to attend, make arrangements to host a reception when you return home to celebrate with those who could not attend. This may not work in every case, but it’s an idea!

● Destination wedding venues will sometimes offer free rooms and discounts to a wedding party depending on the number of rooms rented and people attending. Sometimes they even add on free days to your stay in addition to various other amenities that may be included in your package. Discounts & ‘all-in-one packages’ like this may help guests who are having trouble attending.

● Allow guests who can’t attend to be part of the wedding by sending them a professionally recorded video of the events as well as a wedding favor gift & card, to show that even though they couldn’t attend –you still want them to share the special occasion with you.

Wedding Type

Pros

Cons

Dual Location Wedding 

Two weddings that take place in two separate locations.

You can include friends and family from multiple locations without inconveniencing them financially. You can choose to have two wedding styles. One can be simple, one can be extravagant or you could have 2 simple weddings. Take your pick.

 

You have to pay expenses for what is basically two weddings. That’s double the expenses. You have to account for your own travel time, expenses to two locations.

It can be stressful trying to organize two weddings –it’s stressful enough planning just one.

Some Possible Solutions to the Cons of a Dual Location Wedding:

● You have the option to plan two weddings months or even a year apart from one another. No one says they have to be one after another. That may take away the stress of having to plan two weddings if you stretch out the time span within which you must plan them.

● It doesn’t have to be two weddings. It can be a wedding in one location and a reception/party/celebration/simple vow renewal in a second location. You always have flexibility to do what you want. It doesn’t need to be expensive or unnecessarily stressful or extravagant.

 

Wedding Type

Pros

Cons

Live Streamed WeddingWeddings that are streamed to guests in different locations around the world from the main wedding event. The convenience of a single wedding location, but the benefits of including relatives from different locations. No one is left out if they have an internet connection and a computer or TV.

Your wedding will be one of the most modern types of weddings available. It will be something that your friends and family will talk about for a good while after.

Use of a wedding streaming service may be cheaper for you than the cost of multiple airline flights or the cost of hosting two complete weddings.

Wedding streaming services can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the service you use. The risk of technical difficulties when using a streaming method can delay or disrupt your wedding for guests who aren’t able to attend.

Additional practice and planning may be involved. If you are planning your wedding from a distance you may not have the luxury of scheduling testing sessions to make sure things will flow smoothly the day of your wedding.

Some Possible Solutions to the Cons of a Live Streamed Wedding:

● To Prevent any unexpected hiccups, for a few extra bucks you can hire a trained crew of wedding streamers who will make sure the event & live-streaming goes through without a hitch –and you won’t have to do or worry about a thing.

● To avoid the high cost, you can use a general streaming service like Skype or Ustream to stream your wedding live –for free, as long as you know how to use them. It may require some extra work on your part though.

● Another way to avoid high cost is to simply rent the streaming equipment to use on your own, instead of paying for the entire crew. This might be more reliable than using a free streaming service with a simple webcam since you’ll be using real, tested equipment.

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Some Live Streaming Wedding Services:

www.idostream.com – Packages Start at $199

www.vivahalive.com – Several Packages Available

www.mystreamingwedding.com – Packages start at $249

www.weddingslive.co.uk – Several Packages Available

www.bridalstream.com – Packages start at $1,495

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Some Free Online General Streaming Services:

www.ustream.tv – Ad-free, HD streaming video to all devices, worldwide.

new.livestream.com – Stream your event live on any device, Ad-free.

www.justin.tv – Freely create and share live video.

www.vokle.com – Broadcast live to a virtual audience and embed your own stream on your blog or website for free

As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages to each type of wedding. You really have to examine your circumstances and what you really want out of the occasion. However, we’ve provided you with all of te options.

No matter what wedding you chose, we hope your wedding day will prove to be a happy one, filled with joy and surrounded by those you love.

Now that you’ve seen the options, what kind of wedding would you choose to have?

photo © 2011 AForestFrolic, Flickr

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