Our Long Distance Relationship, and DIY Wedding

I had not seen him for twelve weeks.

A year ago today, I was speeding my way to the Omaha airport to pick up my fiancé. Our wedding was four short days away. We weren’t cutting it close at all.

When we had set the date for our wedding, eleven months earlier, we decided that he would go to Maui for most of the summer to work, and I would stay in Nebraska. We would meet the week of our wedding to tie the knot. Simple enough, yes? No! As it turns out, planning a wedding when you have an ocean between you makes for some rather stressful conversations.

Looking back on it now, I am amazed that we chose to be apart all summer. However, it cannot be denied that those twelve weeks apart gave us special time with our families that we wouldn’t have had otherwise, more money in our pocketbooks, and a really fun reunion at the airport.

My Mom designing the menu board, my aunt and cousins in the background putting together some of the food.

I still had so much to do at home. My whole family was buzzing around trying to accomplish about a million last-minute details. We worked so hard to transform a historic ballroom into both our wedding venue, and reception hall. Each person in my family (and extended family!) had a list of things to accomplish. Among many other things, my Dad was building a frame for the ceremony backdrop, my Mom was cooking the meal for the guests, my Grandpa was making candle holders, my brother was stringing lights, my friend was making endless doily cups for popcorn, my sister was sewing hundreds of feet of paper garlands…

My brother climbed on the roof and strung the lights through the grate at the top, and my sis sewed hundreds of strands of paper garlands (that we lovingly termed “the jellyfish” because it moved and swayed when the a/c hit it.

As I drove away to pick up my fiancé, I felt a tad guilty leaving everyone sweating away preparing for my wedding, as I absconded to the big city for an evening of fun. However, those few hours with my soon-to-be husband were essential in grounding both of us. Once we got back to the wedding preparations neither of us had time to catch up until after we were married and went on our honeymoon.

We wandered downtown Omaha, and walked through many shops in the Old Market district. We laughed about the fact that we were getting married in only a few days, and dreamed about our future. We found a little, old art gallery encrusted with vines that we explored. That evening gave us just enough of a cushion of peace before we drove home and jumped into the hectic wedding planning again. 

Did you have a DIY wedding? Do you hope to have one? A word of advice: don’t procrastinate! Ha ha!

9 thoughts on “Our Long Distance Relationship, and DIY Wedding”

  1. I just came across your blog and I love it! We had a DIY wedding as well, and we were long distance for 3 years before getting engaged! It was so nice to have our families together for a good month before the wedding helping us with all the DIY details! They were superb!

    1. So glad to have you here, Amanda! Three years of long distance?! Wow, that must have been tough! Families really are the best. I don’t know how I would have figured out my wedding without mine.

  2. We were long distance our entire (8-month) relationship up until 2 weeks before the wedding, when Angel moved to Michigan to start his new job. We visited each other a total of 4 times during those nearly 8 months, haha! So married life was very different, and oh, so, SO much better than our courtship days. I love DIY weddings. I did a bit of DIY for our wedding but mostly just kept things really simple. I think I’d be more likely to put time and effort and creativity into someone else’s wedding (like…my sister’s….who’s probably getting married next summer…ahhhhhh!!!!) than my own. I just wanted to get married and was not particularly interested in wedding planning at the time. 😛

    1. Wow, that is a a lot of long-distance! Whew. That must have been hard! Marriage IS so much better than the dating/courtship days. I am so glad I am on this side of our wedding. Ha ha! That is so exciting about your sister! I, too, feel like I will do much better helping someone else put together their special day. I was so stressed out planning my own! Here’s to helping our sisters!

  3. Pingback: The Paper Anniversary (One year of marriage!) - Dandelion Pie

  4. Oh honey, what wonderful memories! I’m so glad it all turned out so beautifully *phew*. It would be kinda nice to have a do-over, in a way, wouldn’t it? I think we’d all be more relaxed a second time around. It was SUCH A DELIGHT to be part of such a lovely occasion. (Honest.)

  5. I love this! Although yeah girl, you guys are CRAZY to have been separated for that long before wedding planning! 😉

    It seems like it turned out just beautifully, though, so I guess it all worked out in the end <3

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