How to Involve Long-Distance Parents in the Wedding-Planning Process

Here's how they can help even if they live across the country.

Photography by: Laura Murray Photography

Mom and Dad can help immensely with wedding preparations, but what if they live across the country? Follow these pointers to keep long-distance parents involved in the planning process. They'll appreciate your efforts at collaboration, and you'll feel less stressed by splitting up the responsibilities. 


Communication Is Key 

Michelle Edgemont, an event planner and stylist in New York City, recommends keeping long-distance parents up-to-date on wedding prep so they don't feel left out. Call Mom and Dad after meetings with your planner, send them pictures of mockups or floral arrangements, and give them a video tour of your venue. You can even FaceTime them during important events like cake tastings or dress fittings. "Give them a sense that they're seeing everything that's happening," says Edgemont. 

Go Digital   

Communication shouldn't be limited to phone calls and texts. According to Lindsay Landman of Lindsay Landman Events, new cloud-based online tools make long-distance collaboration easier. She recommends, an event website that simplifies the planning process. On the cloud-based platform, users can digitally organize floor plans, seating arrangements, vendor lists, timelines, and guest lists—all in one place, for free. 


Edgemont also suggests creating a secret Pinterest board for you and your mom. She can see your design plans and inspirations, and even Pin things herself from around the web. 


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Assign Tasks 

Chances are, your parents are looking forward to splitting some of the wedding planning responsibilities with you. Assign them tasks that can be completed remotely, like mailing the wedding invitations or making accommodations for out-of-town guests. Other tasks can be delegated based on your parents' interests. If your mom is crafty, Edgemont says she can make DIY items for the wedding that can be shipped or brought on a plane. Financially savvy dads can manage the budget on a shared Excel document. For a more personal task, let your dad choose the father-daughter dance song. Landman says he might surprise you by choosing a sentimental tune, like one he used to play in the car when driving you to school.  


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Ask for Opinions 

With so many decisions to make for your big day, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Alleviate some of the burden by asking for your parents' opinion on anything from your first dance song to your choice of wine. They can also research vendors, bands, flowers, catering services, or stationery designs on the Internet. 

Plan a Trip 

If you can't imagine shopping for a wedding dress without your mom, plan a weekend gown-shopping vacation. She can also make a short trip to tour your venue or host a bridal shower. By turning wedding planning into a fun vacation, you'll create memories that will last a lifetime. 

About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...


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