Planning a Meaningful Wedding from Abroad

Wedding Planning from Abroad

Callaway, Minnesota Wedding

The Bride + Groom Perspective

Planning a weekend-long wedding for over 200 people from abroad is not easy.  Needless to say, planning ahead is critical.

Two years in advance may seem like a long time, but when you'll only be in the country a total of four weeks over the next two years before the wedding, suddenly it seems like a good idea to get things moving! 

The times we flew home for the holidays, especially over Christmas, were packed with doing the things you can only do in person: road-tripping to see venues, finding random supplies, dress-shopping, and also having the more intimate pre-wedding conversations with family about values and wishes. 

Sometimes the logistics get a bit overwhelming, and so it is really helpful to have friends and family to help out.  For example, Makenzie and I decided to design and construct our invitations ourselves.

To do so, we started construction by cutting out paper trees while we were home for Christmas and stocked up on envelopes and stamps before flying back to Germany. However, we had neglected to buy paper for the actual invitation card.

The paper sizes are different in Germany and would not fit nicely into a US-sized envelope when folded evenly.  So, we had to create an invitation design that could fold asymmetrically to the right size, while incorporating the tree we had cut out. 

After completing construction and packing all stamped envelopes, we had to mail them... to people in the US!  We couldn't wait until we were next in the US because that'd be too short of time before the wedding to send out the invites. 

Thankfully Makenzie's sister was coming through Munich on a layover, so we met her at the airport, and she mailed them upon arrival in Boston.  Go team!

Avoiding the “Standard”.

Living out of the country and seeing our friends and family much less frequently meant that a "standard" wedding would just not be enough!  We wanted more time with our guests, more time for activities, and more time for our guests to connect with one another. 

For our venue, we found Maplelag, a rustic cross-country ski resort in northern Minnesota.  Maplelag allowed Makenzie and I to share a little bit of ourselves with our guests—natural, adventurous, eclectic, and a bit rustic.

By booking the resort, we also packaged many of the planning and decisions into one—ceremony, reception, lodging, meals, etc were all taken care of by the venue!  This greatly decreased the number of vendors we had to coordinate with and made planning much easier!

Planning a wedding from abroad makes what is normally a difficult task even more difficult.  With advanced planning, help from friends and family, and taking steps to reduce the number of moving parts you have to control, it's possible!