WORKING WITH A WEDDING PLANNER WHEN YOU LIVE ABROAD
There’s been a strange phenomenon this year as far as our weddings are concerned and that is that nearly all (with a couple of exceptions) have been where one half of the couple is British and the other American. Oh and, typically, the couple have lived in the US but want to marry back here. That’s meant a few things. Firstly we’ve blended a lot of American/British wedding traditions... Who walks down the aisle first - bride or bridesmaids? Who sits at the top table and where? Do you do a Father/Daughter dance? Second, we’ve planned a host of weddings from abroad. In fact some where I’ve not even met the bride or groom in person until 6 months down the line and Skype/Facetime have been our main way of “meeting” and communicating/planning.
It’s not a huge surprise today that, as technology gets better and social media platforms pop up all over the place, more and more of the couples I meet are international, with their love stories taking place over several continents. But, I understand that planning your wedding abroad, with a wedding planner based in another country can we a daunting thought. It really shouldn’t be and here’s why.
Planning a wedding from another country can be stressful – there are no two ways about it. You’re unlikely to be at liberty to hop on a long haul flight on a regular basis, which means not getting to meet with all of your suppliers face to face. Everything is necessarily that bit further removed, and it means you need to take a real leap of faith when choosing your suppliers. Trust in your planner plays a huge part. I always insist that before I take on any couple, we have a “meeting” via some form of video call. It’s so important that I understand what that couple needs, what they imagine from their day but, equally, that they get to understand me and my way of working - basically you need to feel comfortable that I “get you” and you “get me”.
When you’re planning a UK wedding from the USA, or anywhere else for that matter, having a wedding planner on board becomes even more crucial. I work closely with you as your go between: the conduit between you and umpteen other suppliers. I’ll oversee everything, keep schedules running smoothly, manage budgets and be your one point of contact across everything, to stop you from having to keep dozens of plates spinning at once from across the other side of the world! I’m your eyes and your advocate during the whole planning process and on the day itself. I also have the advantage of knowing my “UK wedding landscape” inside and out. I know the suppliers and I can recommend who I feel will work brilliantly with you and your style of wedding.
Why I Love International Weddings
Working with a couple living abroad requires a different planning mindset. Our meetings are generally via the magic of video calling, and it’s often down to me to do the physical venue visits and source lots of the tactile elements of the day. As such, I feel a great weight of responsibility, and often have a much more personal and intimate connection to the day itself as a result.
My international couples often have a familial link with the UK, and I frequently meet and liaise with parents, old friends or other members of the family before I see my bride and groom in person! Family and relationship management is a big part of my role - no joke. I love this and it’s bloomin’ important when, a) you are working with the family on the couple’s behalf without ever having met the couple face to face b) a large portion of the weddings we plan take place at the family home - I have to be comfortable (and ensure the whole family is comfortable) with me and my team “slotting in.” There is a lot of trust involved and this takes time to build. On the wedding day, having those connections with multiple guests and family members makes for a warm welcome.
Making Life Easier
When you’re living far away, timezones can be tricky. Over the years I’ve become no stranger to the late night or (more typically) early morning Skype call, I’ve become surprisingly accustomed to a 6am Skype!
If you’re newly engaged and thinking about a beautiful, style-led English wedding from afar, we would love to hear your plans!
1& 5, Joe Short Photography