There are so many reasons why Milwaukee couples need to plan a wedding in 3 months. They want to tie the knot before deployment. Local Health Department regulations have raised wedding venue capacity (ahem, couples wedding planning during COVID-19). They want to schedule a wedding reception only as soon as they can after a more intimate wedding ceremony. Some couples just want to get married and don’t want to wait.
However, the reason doesn’t matter now. You need to plan a wedding in 3 months (or less)! But don’t stress. These steps, lists, and tips are here to help you get started—and finished—planning the wedding of your dreams in Milwaukee.
Where to Start Planning Your Wedding
Sit down with your fiancé and answer key questions.
With a tight wedding planning timeline, this important first step needs to happen right away. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss some key questions:
- Do we have a wedding date in mind?
- What is our style (i.e. elegant, rustic, casual, etc.)?
- What is our wedding budget? How are we going to pay for it?
- Is there anyone who has expressed interest in helping out with our big day (financially or with their time)?
- Do we want a big or small wedding?
- Who do we want in our wedding party?
- Do we want to hire a wedding planner? (Professional tip: some Milwaukee wedding venues have wedding planners on staff that are familiar with the site and local wedding vendors.)
- Is there anything we really want at our wedding? (You’d be surprised at the answers that can come from asking this wedding planning question!)
It’s easy to just jump in and start making calls and sending emails—especially when you feel like you are on a time crunch! Before you get too far, take a step back and get organized. This simple step keeps you on track and ensures that you don’t miss a single step. You don’t want to realize that you didn’t get a key vendor at the last minute.
The good news is this step doesn’t have to take long at all. You can do so with a wedding binder with wedding planning checklists, budget checklists, and a folder for receipts or a helpful wedding planning app. A good wedding planning system helps you track deadlines and expenses.
Contact wedding venues and set a date.
These two wedding planning steps are listed together because they are interchangeable. Some couples set a date and contact wedding venues to see what sites are available on the date. Other couples contact wedding venues to see what dates are available.
If you need any help with these steps, use these tips for choosing the perfect wedding date and these wedding venue questions. The latter is a list of questions you should ask every wedding venue so you can determine which venue is right for you. Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential wedding venues, schedule a tour so you can see every space. (This wedding venue tour checklist is very helpful for tours.)
The last step of the process is to sign the contract with the wedding venue and confirm your wedding venue. You now have one of the biggest wedding planning details finalized, and are well on your way to planning a wedding in 3 months.
Contact wedding caterers.
Some wedding venues have an in-house caterer, while others have you choose from a list of local caterers. Other wedding venues have an open vendor policy.
If your wedding venue is one of the last two, you should start contacting wedding caterers as soon as possible. This list of Milwaukee wedding caterers can help, as can this list of wedding caterer questions you need to ask as you contact them. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their pricing, cancellation policy, and deadlines.
Place dress and tux orders.
Since you’re in a time crunch, visit your wedding attire stores and rental companies as soon as you have your wedding venue confirmed. By this time, you should know if you need formal attire or are planning a semi-formal or casual event. This is also the time to confirm your wedding party so you can include them in your visits. Make sure you ask if your dress and tuxes can be in before your wedding date; avoid attire that is shipped in right before your wedding date just in case there are delays in shipping.
Start working down the list of vendors.
Now it’s time to start working down your wedding planning checklist and contacting vendors. You can ask your wedding venue staff for recommendations of local vendors or search online for local professionals. As you contact them, be careful about hiring vendors without a business address, experience, good reviews, or testimonials. Here is a list of vendors to contact:
- Ceremony Musicians & Officiant
- Entertainment (band or DJ)
- Florist (for bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, etc.)
- Makeup & Styling Professionals
- Photographer & Videographer
- Bakery (if the caterer doesn’t provide the cake or wedding dessert)
Start a wedding website and mail invites.
Once you’ve nailed down all the big details, it’s time to go public! You can create a wedding website and order invites as soon as you’ve confirmed the venue and set a schedule for the day. (Typically, this is done after you’ve confirmed the venue, caterer, and entertainment.) This guide to creating an excellent wedding website gives you a list of details to include on social media or on a website.
From there, it’s time to look into getting a marriage license and confirm details with all your vendors. You’ll also need to plan your rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. While the wedding planning process may seem long, keep your eye on the prize: a wonderful marriage and wedding day.
Wedding Planning Tips
- Consider choosing a weekday or less popular day for your wedding (i.e. Thursday, Friday, Sunday, etc.) You have a better chance of finding an available wedding venue and wedding vendors on short notice.
- If you divide up the items on your wedding planning checklist, give your friend or family members set deadlines to ensure that every item is completed.
- Always let wedding venues know if you need the space for the wedding ceremony and reception. Look for venues with multiple spaces so guests don’t need to wait too long for take-down and set-up between the ceremony and reception.
- If shipping is a concern, purchase wedding attire straight off the rack so you don’t have to wait. Contact seamstresses right away if alterations are needed.
- Consider choosing a Milwaukee wedding venue with an event planner on staff. These planners know the venue intimately and are familiar with local vendors, making planning smooth and easy when you’re wedding planning in a hurry.