April Fool’s Day. An anniversary. Health. A deployment. There are a lot of reasons why couples want to skip the long planning process and head down the aisle only 3, 4, 5, or 6 months (or even less!) after the engagement. If you’re one of those couples, let’s cut to the chase: use these tips to plan a beautiful wedding in as short amount of time—or as long—as you want. (It is possible!)
Budget. Guest list. Venues. Invitations. You have a lot of wedding planning ‘musts’ to tackle quickly, so get a jumpstart on your wedding planning checklist. Use these tips so you can stay on top of all your wedding planning tasks and know exactly what needs to be done and by when. Set clear deadlines so you can check each item off and move on to the next fun step of wedding planning.
Make it a team effort.
If you don’t want to feel overwhelmed, divide up your wedding planning checklist among you, your fiance, and any other dependable friends or family member. Make sure you let your family members know when you need each wedding task completed or hire a wedding planner who can devote their time to making your vision come true (quickly). If you have the wedding ceremony all planned out, choose a wedding venue with an event planner on hand that can coordinate all the details of your wedding reception into a memorable night.
Since you have a lot to do, make sure you don’t get so caught up in small details that you don’t get a chance to complete what needs to be done. Put simply: don’t get so worried about the design of the place cards and delay hiring your wedding entertainment. Choose what matters most (to you and your guests) and get started on those details first while you have time. Other (less significant) details can be done later when (and if) you have time.
Time is of the essence; now is not the time to procrastinate. Get started as soon as you have the date (or time of year) set in stone. If you don’t have the exact date set in stone, contact potential venues with a month and ask them for available dates. This is a surefire way to get the venue you want during the time of the year you want to get married in; and to get two (VERY) important details nailed down so you can move on to the next wedding planning task.
Plan your wedding for a less popular day.
If you really want to get a premiere wedding venue, consider getting married on a weekday or on a less popular weekend day (brunch on Sunday, Friday evening, etc.). Not only can you usually get a discount on your venue, you are also more likely to get the venue with one call.
Get your invites out fast.
You still have time to send out invites, but you need to act fast. Book your venue, ceremony site, and date right away so you have all the important details you need for the invites. To speed up the RSVP process, give your guests an electronic option (i.e. email, wedding website, etc.) that can give you numbers as soon as possible.
Buy a dress that you don’t have to order.
Most wedding dress shops tell you to order six months in advance to make sure your dress (and the bridesmaid dresses) arrive in time for your big day. If you don’t have six months, ask your local dress shops for options that are available off the rack. These dresses are usually more budget-friendly, and (most importantly) ready for immediate alterations. If you are concerned that your bridesmaid dresses won’t share the same dye lot off the rack, consider having your bridesmaids purchase different color dresses in different styles (i.e. jewel tones, spring colors, black & off white, etc.) for a distinctive and sweet look.
Find vendors that check off a lot of boxes.
If you want to cut down on the number of wedding tasks you need to check off the list, look for “package deals.” For example, look for a wedding venue that can be both a ceremony and reception site or a company that offers several wedding entertainment options. As satisfying as it is check off the boxes on your wedding checklist, make sure you still are getting quality wedding services. The result: a fantastic wedding day that everybody’ll swear took years to plan.