Throw that two-year wedding planning checklist out the window. These wedding planning tips are for couples who want to get married in six months (or less!)—and are ready to plan and enjoy their dreaming wedding day (soon)!
Nail down most of the big details with your fiancé.
The best way to start wedding planning—before calling wedding venues or heading to the store—is to have a talk with your new fiancé. This discussion is an opportunity to get on the same page about important wedding planning details. It’s a time to start asking:
- Where do we want to get married? (Discuss the city, ceremony site, any special venues you have in mind.)
- When do we want to get married? (If you don’t have a set date, it’s okay to decide on a month.)
- How big of a wedding do we want? (You don’t have to set a guest list but you should have a general guest count in mind.)
- What is our budget? Where are the funds coming from? (This is the time to be honest about finances and discuss any friends or family that have expressed an interest in helping.)
- What is the one thing you’ve always wanted on your wedding day? (The answer to this question may surprise you!)
- How much time do we have for wedding planning? (Be honest! If you need some help, add “wedding planning services” to your wedding venue checklist.)
- What is our style? What style or wedding theme reflects us as a couple?
Start contacting wedding venues.
One of the most important details to confirm is the site of your nuptials. After all, you need to know the location before you set a wedding day timeline or drafting invitations. This is the time to start researching wedding venues and prepping your wedding venue questions.
If you have a set wedding date, this is your chance to narrow your choices of wedding venues. Make a list of potential wedding venues that are within your preferred location, can accommodate your approximate guest count, and fit with your style. When you contact the wedding venue, your first wedding venue question, “Are you available on our wedding date?” can tell you if that venue is worth a visit or should be crossed off the list.
For couples without a set date, ask potential wedding venues for open dates during you and your fiance’s preferred month or season. If the venue is incredibly popular, be open to alternate wedding days (instead of a Saturday) that may be open. As an added benefit, alternate wedding dates (such as on a Friday or Sunday) may be less expensive than a Saturday.
Make wedding planning an organized effort.
Planning a wedding in six months is an expedited process—and one that can go a lot smoother if it is organized (especially with these tips for organizing wedding planning). Start with a paper wedding planning checklist or a good wedding planning app that helps you check items off the list. Never start wedding planning without an excellent wedding budget worksheet (and good budgeting advice) that keeps your expenses within the amount set by you and your fiancé.
Remember, if you want to bring in a team of friends and family to help, great—but be careful! Even the most well-intentioned volunteers can miss deadlines or overstep their bounds.
Vet vendors carefully and quickly.
Remember, while you have to move down your wedding planning checklist quickly, never overlook one of the most important steps: vetting wedding vendors. Just one misstep can lead to an unscrupulous vendor who leaves you high and dry on your wedding day—and adds to what can already be a stressful time.
When looking for vendors, such as your caterer, photographer, entertainer, or videographer, always research each vendor carefully. In addition to checking out their website and social media sites, carefully look through reviews (especially on third-party websites like the Knot, Wedding Wire, or Yelp) to see what other couples have felt about their experience.
Be wary of amateurs recommended by friends (“oh my cousin can totally help!” or “I have a friend who does this on the side”)—especially if you and your friends have never seen them in action. Unfortunately, if an amateur shuts down or takes an extremely large down payment, you may not have many options to recover your lost funds.
Don’t just be careful about vendors. If you have any items that need to be ordered, always ask about the expected delivery date. Never order any items that may not make it in until the last minute.
Wedding planning can feel overwhelming and even stressful—especially when you’re on a tight timeline! Even though you feel like you have to get everything done, plan periodic date nights where you can enjoy being together. There are a lot of great ways to de-stress in Milwaukee! (Plus you can turn some of them into a de-stressing double-duty date that you can use for wedding planning!)