How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months or Less
You found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, he finally popped the question, you excitedly said “YES!” and now you want to begin your marriage adventure AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! When it comes to thinking about your future, you can’t imagine spending any more time NOT married because you’ve decided on forever and you want forever to begin like yesterday. Is this you? There are many reasons that decide the length of an engagement (school, work, health, etc.), but sometimes the question is “Why not get married sooner?” You may be asking yourself this same question, but with the wedding industry these days, it seems that everyone else has engagements lasting a year or more! Is it possible to pull off a wedding in less than 6 months? The answer: heck yes it is!
I personally planned my own wedding in 5 months and I know many who have planned in even less time than that! HOW did they do it? Here is practical advice that will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or discouraged when planning your wedding on a time crunch!
1. Identify your Vision
Sit down with your fiance (this is a conversation for just the two of you) and have an intentional discussion about what your wedding visions look like. Do you envision an elaborate wedding or something more simple? Do you want to invite all your friends and family or keep it more intimate? Are there certain traditions that you’ve wanted to partake in or do you want to do things a little different? What are you most looking forward to when it comes to your wedding? What things give you anxiety just thinking about it? Having this open and honest conversation with your partner will give you the initial direction to help with the rest of the decision making. It’s best to have this conversation early so that the opinions of others do not sway your own desires—you’ll get plenty of advice (sometimes unwanted) from others later, trust me!
2. Decide What is Most Important To You
When it comes to planning a wedding within 6 months or less, there are certain decisions that need to be made first. Because the industry is averaging engagements of 10-14 months, certain vendors are booking that far in advance. This means that your dream venue or photographer or florist likely won’t be available on a Saturday during peak seasons. This is when you need to decide what the most important thing for your wedding is, then take care of that first. If it’s the venue, book that first! If it’s photos (I’m biased and think it should be!), book that! If it’s your dress, better get to shopping! You’ll want to book the most important aspect first, then let everything else fall into place around it. For example, if photography is super important to you, you wouldn’t want to put down a deposit on a venue only to find out that your dream photographer is already booked on that date, leaving you with having to settle for someone else.
3. Be Flexible!
This is crucial. You’re going to run into “road blocks” when planning a short engagement. I put that in quotes because you can’t look at them as negatives, but rather a little nudge of redirection! You may want to consider other options from what the typical bride decides. Here are several examples and tips to go along:
-Date : Consider a Sunday or weekday wedding! Most often, Saturdays book up far in advance. So if you’re getting married within 6 months, you might need to adjust your expectations. Many times, venues and vendors will offer discounts to weekday weddings or outside of peak wedding season. Weekday weddings are my favorite growing trend in the wedding industry!
-Venue : This goes along with the point above, but be open minded when looking at venues! Each one has something different to offer and once you find the perfect one, cross that off your list!
-Dress : You’ll want to be open with your communication to the bridal boutique. Each store/designer has different ship dates for your dress, meaning it could take 1-2 months or it could take 5-6 months before your dress is shipped to you. Talk to your consultant about this before you try on a dress so that they only show you dresses that are within your timeline. Most of the time, you can buy off the rack too! If you try on a dress and don’t want to wait, the store will allow you to purchase their floor sample at a discounted price and you get to take it home with you that same day! You’ll likely need to alter it in some way, so talk to an alterations specialist about how long your changes will take as well. You may want to consider buying a dress that isn’t marketed as a wedding dress! By this, I mean look online or in department stores. There are plenty of beautiful dresses of all colors and styles that you can’t find in a wedding dress shop. Keep an open mind and you might find the perfect one in a place you’d least expect! Some of my favorite online shops for dresses are Lulu’s, ASOS, BHLDN and Azazie. My only warning when looking online is to make sure that you’re buying from a trusted site. There are lots of overseas scam companies that take forever to ship and often deliver a product very different from the photos. Keep your wits about you!
-Photography/Video : Similar to date and venue, photographers are less likely to be booked on a weekday. If you have found a photographer that you connect with and love their work, reach out and ask them what days they still have available! Use that information to decide your date and venue, assuming photography is super important to you!
4. Consider Hiring a Planner.
There’s a lot to think about when planning a wedding and you may be the type of person that would rather let someone else handle it so you won’t be bogged down by decisions and to-do lists. A wedding planner & coordinator is a fantastic decision and I’ve never heard of anyone who regretted hiring one! Their job is literally to make your life easier and less stressful—sounds like a good investment to me! There are many coordinators that would be happy to help you plan a wedding on a time crunch and I promise, you’ll be thankful for them!
5. Choose the Less Stressful Option.
This is one of my own pieces of advice that worked for me when planning my wedding. Whenever I was faced with a decision, I always chose the less stressful option. Sometimes that meant saving money, sometimes that meant spending a little bit more. Sometimes it meant DIY-ing a few things, sometimes it meant hiring someone to take care of it. In the end, it totally paid off! I can honestly say that I was not one bit stressed on my wedding day because every decision leading up to my wedding led down a road of pure bridal bliss and I could put my mind to rest knowing that there wasn’t something to worry about. When in doubt, choose the least stressful option!
6. Enjoy the Ride!
Planning a wedding in less than 6 months will feel like a whirlwind, so learn to enjoy every aspect and choose to embrace this exciting season of life! After all, YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED! EEK! Take time to go on a date with your fiance, soak in all the craziness and just enjoy the ride. It really does fly by and all that matters is you are marrying the love of your life and you feel oh so loved on your wedding day.
Congratulations to you on this decision to get married! Marriage is a wonderful adventure and I can’t wait for you to join the club! Happy planning!