Breathe…you can plan your wedding from a distance!

Hello! I'm going to start off with a little introduction, as this is my very first post on Mountainside Bride (yippee)! My name is Callandra (the baby name books say that it means lark, but it turns out it translates more to ‘strong man' in Greek), and I plan weddings in the Canadian Rockies. I've been a huge fan of Mountainside Bride for some time now, because in my humble opinion, mountain weddings are the bees knees. You've got spectacular backdrops, clean air, and lots of fun activities to do with your guests. Plus, there's nothing like that smell of fresh pine, and the sounds of the forest to create the perfect atmosphere for your wedding! I am also totally in love with marriage, and I love to help our couples enjoy the planning journey and really focus on the end game (being married forever!).

Canadian Rocky Mountain Wedding | Design by Cherry Tree Occasions |Photography by Julie | See more at https://mountainsidebride.com/2014/02/breathe-you-ca…rom-a-distance/
Photo by Julie Williams Photography

Destination Mountain Weddings

Most of the couples we work with are coming from somewhere else. Maybe they are in a city nearby and can accommodate planning trips to the mountains, but many live in other parts of the country or continent (we even have a client from Hong Kong right now!). Lots of couples feel really overwhelmed by the logistics of long distance planning, so I wanted to share some tips to make your distance planning just a bit easier!

Get Tech Savvy

There are lots of excellent (and often free) tech tools that are going to allow you to communicate clearly with your vendors. In fact, I could write a whole post on just that!

But two that we rely heavily on are Skype and Google Drive.

Selecting vendors from afar is tough! Many vendors are happy to arrange Skype meetings, and it allows you to get a better sense of the vendors personality, professionalism, and whether you'll jive with them. (I love it because I can see when you make funny faces at my quirky suggestions!).

We're also totally addicted to google drive and it's app suite ( which is very similar to Microsoft office).

Google Drive allows you to store all of your wedding stuff in one place, share documents with each other, and your vendors, and if you use google apps ( instead of just uploading word docs or excel spreadsheets), you can work on documents together in real time! ( this comes in handy when you've made the 17th change to your seating chart). It also means when you finally get to the mountains ( can you smell the pine?), all of your documents will be in an easily accessible place.

Familiarize yourself with the destination (like get really cozy)

I'm the type of person that when I travel ( much to the amusement of my family) I become a bit of a local expert (as much as you can be a local expert without ever being somewhere!).

I frequent the local Trip Advisor (and Chowhound, and Lonely Planet) boards, watch YouTube videos of the hotels & attractions I am interested in, take a drive through town on Google Street view, check out the destinations local Facebook & tourism page, and talk to everyone I know who's been there.

By the time I arrive at a destination I know who has the best coffee, where I should be hitting apres ski ( I don't actually ski, but I LOVE apres), and what hotel has new management and should be avoided. I encourage you to do the same as you plan your wedding. Having a feel for the area is going to make is so much easier to make decisions!

Set up a wedding website

Now that you're a local expert, it's time to consolidate all of this info in one place. Just as you are finding planning a wedding from afar a bit confusing, your guests may be finding the same thing. Right now we have a crush on Appy Couple, but there are tons of good sites out there you can you to create a fun wedding website. Include details on activities, weather, food, transportation, and accommodation. Trust us, this will save you many a phone call!

Canadian Rocky Mountain Wedding | Design by Cherry Tree Occasions |Photography by Julie | See more at https://mountainsidebride.com/2014/02/breathe-you-ca…rom-a-distance/
Photo by Julie Williams Photography

Get succinct with your Pinterest board

Fell free to pin, pin, pin away! But let's be a bit strategic about it.

The main vendors that need visual communication include your designer, florist, stationer, and baker.

Before you meet with each of these vendors, create a small Pinterest board just for them. Include the images you are most drawn to, and make a note as to why you like them ( “I love the shape and colour of this bouquet, but I don't love the lilies!”).

It's also helpful to pin things that really appall you, with a note describing why. (one of our current clients is exceptionally good at this, a recent comment that made me giggle…”We do not like the pattern in this table cloth. I looked at it and thought, it reminds me of a comforter, but not. Then {groom} looked at it and said, “it looks like it's been quilted,” and I was like, YES, that's what's wrong with it! So no quilted table cloths please.”)

Plan a planning trip

If it's at all possible, it's a good idea to schedule on trip to your wedding locale.

During this trip you should be checking out your venue, possible guest accommodation, neat attractions, local watering holes, different restaurants, AND meeting with some of your wedding pro's. I suggest a face-to-face meeting with your venue coordinator, photographer, cinematographer, DJ, marriage officiant, and all design vendors (as notes above). Use our friend google maps to ensure you've schedule enough time to get from meeting to meeting.

Call a wedding planner

Ok, so I'm totally biased, of course, but planning from afar can be SO much easier with an onsite go to person.

Look for someone local if at all possible. A local person will know the little details that can really effect your wedding (like what weekend is super busy in town, or if a local animal happens to be in the middle of rutting season, or the actual driving distances between venues with summer traffic in mind).

Hiring a planner to take care of your whole wedding will make things SO much easier. If a full planning option doesn't fit you, look at a wedding month management service (you might have heard this referred to as ‘day of') to tie up all of the loose ends and take care of onsite logistics. And a little tip about us wedding planners? Most of us love to help people, and love to talk, so we are more than happy to offer virtual consulting services (aka, call a planner for an hour an ask all of your burning questions).

Love this advice? Check out more on my blog: PostcardWeddings.com/blog


Mountainside Guide

Mountainside Bride Preferred vendorsPostcard Weddings is a distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.

See Postcard Weddings' portfolio HERE.