You may think, like, WHAAAT? Nah, she's kidding. Cannot be the truth. Hell, yeah. It's actually the truth, believe me. But let me start at the beginning.
A year ago my boyfriend proposed to me and asked me to marry him. There were no flashmobs, no hidden cameras, no fireworks. It was just us, by the shore of a small lake, in the middle of a forest. I said "yes." Obviously.
Two weeks later I went on board of a Lufthansa machine and set off towards the United States of America to teach German at Illinois State University. In front of us were ten months of living apart on opposite sides of the globe. For a young engaged couple definitely a challenge.
This article, however, is not about the difficulties of a long distance relationship. It's also not about any tips and tricks on how to survive on different sides of the globe. And finally, it's also not about the romance of being engaged. The following is a story on how to plan a wedding while living 9,000km apart from your SO, whereas the wedding is to be planned in a country that neither you nor your fiancé lives in.
1. Good organization is the key
Being well organized is the key to everything. A wedding is already quite an event to plan without the seven hours time difference that is between Germany and the US. First, we had to figure out the time of day we actually have the possibility to sit down together and talk things through.
2. Social Media will save you
Big thanks to Messenger, FaceTime, Pinterest and What's App & Co. Without those it wouldn't have been possible to send pictures and inspirations on a constant basis and to know exactly what we are expecting from our big day. You don't want to know how many screenshots I've saved…. #crazy
3. Train your patience
With such a distance things don't really work spontaneously. You have a great idea about flowers, invitations or music and want to share it with your partner? Relax, as you cannot call immediately. As much as you love this topic and would like to talk about it 24/7, you have to train your patience and wait for the right moments to catch your other half on the other side of the globe.
4. Lots of talking
Planning such a big event involves a lot of talking, discussions and looking for compromises. As you cannot see your partner every day and whenever you want, you have to use those occasions you have on Skype and FaceTime to really bring your ideas across.
5. Be honest
That's a big one. Talking on the phone or seeing each other on video call is great. However, it's still not the same as being in the same room with another person. Body language, changes in your voice and the general atmosphere are important parts in conversation, and are not always easy to be interpreted when transmitted by electronics. Be sure to utter all your worries and thoughts in a clear and comprehensive way for your SO to understand.
6. Stop organizing and take a break
I know that sounds crazy as we're talking about planning a wedding. However, it's good to stop planning from time to time and forget about colors, menus and the church. Especially while living apart it's important to take some time to simply enjoy the idea of getting married and being engaged. #loveisintheair
7. You have to be sure of doing the right thing
We all know that long distance relationships are tough. There is no sugarcoating it. What I discovered as well is that over distance it's also so much easier to start a fight and so much more difficult to end it. Now, when planning a wedding you know it's a lifetime decision, so you better be sure of doing the right thing. ;-) #truelove
8. Keep the sparkle
Wedding planning without the right amount of magic sparkle is not the real thing. Although you're far away and despite some stressful moments it's important to keep the sparkle alive. Letters, picking a song for the first dance or reminiscing about favorite memories are just some ideas.
9. Wedding dress shopping
As it would be too late if I started looking for a dress after my return home, I had to look for dresses while still being in the US. I always dreamed about going wedding dress shopping with my Mom, but here I was, on the other side of the globe, my Mom still being in Europe. Sometimes you have to do compromises and be grateful for everything you have, as being away from family and friends has its own consequences. And putting on that first dress will always be magic, girls!
10. Be sure to involve your parents
My parents are very important people in my life and I couldn't imagine planning my wedding without making them part of the whole thing. Although my fiancé and I made all the decisions on our own and organized most of it by ourselves, we always made sure that our parents knew what was going on. As I was far away, I paid attention to call them regularly and involve them in our plans.
11. Keep that smile on your face
I think that is not a hard thing to do, keeping in mind that you are looking forward to that very special day and to all the days that will follow. And even if you are far away now and a few things may be a little bit more difficult you know that it's all for that moment when the two of you will promise to never be away from each other again.