Although tradition dictates that a couple should take their vows in the bride's hometown, when it comes to modern wedding planning, the destination options are extensive. You can marry in the bride or groom's hometown, the city you met, or a favorite location you've traveled to together.
But long-distance planning can put additional stress on a bride who may not have spent much time in the location of her upcoming wedding. Not being familiar with vendors in the area can add stress to the planning process, Chicago-based wedding planner Beth Bernstein tells HuffPost Weddings.
"It's also stressful because so much has to get done on-site -- you do have to come in for a tasting, you should come in for a floral sample, and it's always best to meet with your wedding planner and your photographer in person," says Bernstein.
With a little planning and some smart scheduling, having a wedding in a faraway locale can actually streamline the planning process: With only a limited amount of time during your trips to the wedding location, you'll be able to make arrangements more efficiently. Click through the slideshow below for six essential rules for stress-free long-distance wedding planning.
Tell us: How did you simplify the process of long-distance wedding planning? Share your tips in the comments or tweet @HuffPostWedding.
Choose Your Location Carefully
Consider all the factors -- from cost, to guest travel, to the significance of the place for both you and your fiance -- when choosing where to host your wedding. When it comes to choosing a venue, consider guest list and budget first and foremost, and then try to check out the place in person, or at least find a planner you trust who can vouch for the venue. Have your planner take photos that offer a different perspective from what might be on the website, or send photos from a previous wedding they planned there, Bernstein recommends.
Find A Trusted Local Planner Or Point-Person
Choosing a coordinator you trust at the location of your wedding is crucial to keeping your stress levels low and making sure the wedding turns out just as you envisioned it. Bernstein emphasizes the importance of in-person meetings with not only your planner, but also the photographer. "They're seeing you at your most vulnerable moments," she says. "Regardless of how clear they are with their prices, if you don't connect with them on a personal level, it's going to affect your moods on your wedding day and it's going to affect your photos if your guard is up."
Figure Out What You Can Do Remotely
Although much of the planning will need to be done at the actual location of the wedding, there are some things that are preferable to arrange locally. Bernstein highly recommends getting the bridal gown wherever the bride lives, to make fittings easier. Invitations can also be done wherever the couple lives.
Make The Most Of 'Power-Planning' Days
Bernstein recommends at least two trips to the destination: First to visit the venue and start meeting with vendors and photographers, and then again two or three months before the wedding for your final meetings, tastings and walk-through. These "power-planning" days can actually make the process much more efficient: Instead of spreading out meetings sporadically over months, you can get it all done in a couple busy visits. "My best advice is to come in on Thursday or come in over the weekend and stay until Tuesday, because you're not going to be able to meet with all your vendors on the weekend when they're at weddings," says Bernstein.
Keep Bridal-Party Apparel Simple
For bridesmaids dresses, you have a few options: Brides can have each member of the party send their measurements and find a shop where she can order the dresses for them, or you can choose a chain store like J. Crew, so that bridesmaids can go in and try the dresses on at their local branch. Keeping it simple with accessories will can also minimize headaches for both the bride and the bridesmaids. "The days of dying your shoes to match your dress are long over, thank goodness, so say, 'Everybody get a gold shoe' or 'Everybody get a nude shoe,'" Bernstein says. "It doesn't need to be the same style. Or if the bride is really open, everybody can get their own dress."
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Keeping your stress levels (and your perspective) in check is one of the most important ways to ensure that you have the most enjoyable wedding you possible can. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/wedding-stress_n_2957601.html" target="_blank">Click here</a> for essential stress-relieving tips for your big day. "Hire a planner and have them be your feet on the ground and do as much as they can for you. Hire somebody you trust because you're not going to be there," Bernstein advises. "And try to let go a little bit."