Long distance relationships are challenging.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
You've probably heard both of these, and if you're in a long distance relationship - whether because of work, military, or some other obligation - you're probably wondering how it will work now that you're engaged and planning a wedding. Planning in a non LDR can be stressful enough, but throw in miles upon miles and the molehill suddenly seems like a mountain.
First, chill! Take a deep breath. You've got this. How do we know? Because many LDR couples have gone before you and made it work.
Here are some top tips on how to plan a wedding while in a LDR.
The first thing you'll want to do, because it will help you the most, is get organized. Talk to each other about each of your expectations and what the priorities are. Take advantage of technology like Google documents and spreadsheets, and email each other often. Stay on track by using a wedding planning timeline.
It also helps to divide up tasks. Although one of you may be handed more of the load due to being closer to vendors, you can both still participate in the planning process. Even checking off little tasks makes a big difference.
If budget allows, consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to help you with both major and minor tasks. If a planner/coordinator isn't in the cards, don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Delegate tasks to the wedding party members and never be afraid to ask questions.
Communication is key in any relationship, but it's especially important when you're in a LDR and planning a wedding. Make sure both of you are involved in decisions and let each other know what's going on. You wouldn't want your significant other showing up on wedding day with a confused look on his/her face. Communicate everything from decor ideas to day of schedules.
Make Time for Each Other
Just as it's important to schedule time for wedding planning, it's also important (if not more so) to schedule time for each other. That means making time for quality conversations that don't involve wedding talk. To help you do this, you can:
- Limit wedding talk to a certain amount of time
- Choose one task to tackle/talk about for 'x' amount of time
- Schedule a date night (over video or in person, if possible)
- Send an end-of-week email to each other as a way of checking in (write about your week, how you're feeling, etc.)
- Text/Snapchat/send photos throughout the week
- Use Rabbit to watch TV together (you can even chat while you watch!)
Make Time for Yourself
Just because you're not together doesn't mean you stop living life. It's easy to mope around the house and count down the days until you see each other again, but it's not productive and it certainly isn't good for your mental state.
Continue living a full life, one that's your own. Foster close friendships, participate in hobbies, enjoy spending time with yourself.
If there's one great thing about being in a long distance relationship, it's that it helps you to rely more on yourself than others. It instills confidence in a way that being close to your SO doesn't. As long as you make time for each other and yourself, your wedding planning, as well as your life, will be full of joy.