Jennie & Andy: Doing The Distance

jennie&andy

I’m so sorry it’s been a while since I’ve checked in with our wedding planning. Life has been a little bit crazy over the past couple of weeks. Mostly because of one massive change – Andy’s moved back to Hong Kong. Don’t panic, the wedding is still on, things haven’t gone horribly wrong! You’d be right in thinking this definitely wasn’t originally part of the plan though…

We’ve done the long distance thing before and we hadn’t intended to ever do it again. We were certain that we were going to both live in the same place, and more than likely that place would be England. However, sometimes life just has this way of throwing a curve ball at the best-laid plans, doesn’t it?!

Andy was offered the chance to return to his previous company, do the job he loves, and work towards his teaching career. We thought very long and very hard about it. There were a few raised voices, and more than a few tears along the way, but when it comes down to it, the same opportunity just doesn’t exist here right now. So two weeks ago I took him to Gatwick, managed to be incredibly brave (well, sort of brave anyway…) at the departures, and waved him off to Asia. As if wedding planning wasn’t hard enough, eh!?

Although we’re now living about 8000 miles and a seven hour time difference apart, one thing we’ve decided is that we still both want to plan this wedding together. Obviously on a practical level some things will be harder than others. Its going to be tricky to get chance to sit down and make invitations together, meet suppliers, or taste sample menus. Planning sessions over a bottle of wine just aren’t going to happen. I’ll be heading out to Hong Kong to visit in late May, and Andy will be back here for two weeks in July, so in those weeks we’ll pack in as much in person wedding planning as we can. Other than that though, everything will pretty much be conducted over Skype, whatsapp and email.

Hong Kong… together!

Hong Kong… together!

So what have we done to start long distance wedding planning?

Well as soon as Andy decided he’d be moving back to Asia, wedding planning quickly accelerated. We started doing all the things that you’ve got to do face to face. We’ve visited pubs across Surrey meeting photographers, talked to marquee companies, and had surveys taken of the garden to see if there’s going to be any difficulties getting the tent in.

In the weeks before Andy left, he turned the front room into Wedding HQ. We started by setting up a joint email account. It sounds a bit cheesy, but having one email we can both see does make things easier. The all-important excel spread sheet is saved onto a One Drive. In theory this means we’ll both be able to update it and keep track of who’s paid for what, and what still needs doing. Whether this will work quite so well in reality is yet to be seen!

I know we’re not alone in long distance wedding planning. In the past year I know two couples who have done it and not only still talk to each other, but who managed to pull off gorgeous weddings. That said though, this is definitely going to make organising our wedding a lot harder. With only a limited time to talk each day, striking a balance between wedding chat and actually having a relationship outside of big day planning is going to be tricky. I’d love to hear any tips from anyone who has undertaken long distance wedding planning.  If you know how to keep up a relationship on opposite sides of the world, plan an amazing wedding AND stay sane at the same time, please do share your secrets!

Jennie x

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2 thoughts on “Jennie & Andy: Doing The Distance

  1. Hi Jennie,

    I just had to comment because my fiancé and I are also part of the long-distance wedding planning crew! Living abroad for a year has always been on our bucket list but when the opportunity came, they wanted him to start immediately and I couldn’t move out straight away. So he’s been in Singapore since February, though I’m in London until June. On top of that we’re getting married in Ireland!

    Like you we’ve been trying to get most of the major decisions in place before I go. We fell in love with the very first venue we saw, which meant that we were both involved in that decision, although I subsequently changed the church when I went back by myself, which was scary! I’ve been out to visit him twice (part of the package we negotiated with his company), and we actually tried to keep those times largely wedding planning free, and just enjoy being together, which was lovely and a good break for me too.

    For us, how it’s worked is that I do the majority of the research/looking and then he takes a roll in the decision making. It probably would have been like that even if he was here though! I can’t really offer much advice, except to say that the hazards of wedding planning are exactly the same as in any long distance situation – comments by text can be misinterpreted without fault on either side (“do you like it?”, “it’s better than the last version”) so Skyping definitely makes it easier. The 7 hour time difference is tricky though! Also, if something is stressing you out or you’re finding a particular decision difficult then you need to spell it out, because it’s not as easy to judge your mood from a different continent!

    I’m sure you guys will be absolutely fine, and it sounds like a really incredible opportunity. At the end of the day, your relationship is so much bigger than just the wedding and it’s wonderful that you’ve been able to give each other space to go after your individual goals too.

    Really looking forward to hearing how you get on and wishing you both the very best of luck!

    Aisling

    • Hi Aisling,

      Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 I’m so glad to hear we’re not alone! It sounds like you’ve got even more on your plate, working across three different countries! Two is hard enough! Singapore is a wonderful place though, and it sounds like you’ve got a fantastic opportunity to live there, so its all worth it isn’t it!

      Everything is going well so far, although like you say, the time difference is tricky, there aren’t that many times when we’re both available to talk. Wedding planning chats usually take place when i’m on my lunch break, and Andy’s home after work. I don’t always have a huge amount of time, and Andy isn’t always in the mood after a long day! We’re making progress though 🙂 Like you I’m taking the lead in finding suppliers and gathering ideas, narrowing them down to the best ones, then bringing Andy in to work on the final decisions. I completely agree this is probably how it would be if we were in the same country anyway though!

      Good luck with your wedding planning, and with your move later in the year! 🙂 It sounds like you’ve got everything under control, and you’ll have a fantastic day and, even more importantly, an incredible adventure!

      Jennie x

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