This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
Are you planning a wedding in a short timeframe? We have brides all over the United States; some start their planning process between 12- 18 months ahead, while others decide to jump in and plan a wedding in 30 days. Which one are you… and is this even possible, you ask? The answer is, “YES.” As crazy and hectic as it may seem, not only can you plan a great wedding in a short timeframe, it can also be the wedding of your dreams. When it comes down to it, the key to planning a great wedding in a short timeframe is simple: focus on the important and key elements of your wedding and don’t sweat the small stuff. Here’s how:
Countdown to Planning a Great Wedding in a Short Timeframe – 30 Days
1. Determine your budget, guest list, wedding party, and theme
2. Book your wedding venue. Because it’s less than 30 days from the time you will be mailing out invitations, you should be conscious of out of town guest and possibly accommodate them with choosing one venue to have both the ceremony and reception. This will eliminate them having to pay for multiple trips on wedding day, especially with short notice.
3. Decide if you want to receive gifts from your guest. If yes, go online and create a gift registry or Honeyfund honeymoon registry. Then sign up for a wedding website, where you can all of your registry information as well as important wedding information. Also, if you do have out of town guests, I’d take a further step and text or email the link to your wedding website to them now. That way, they can start preparing for their trip, while awaiting the official invitation.
4. Speaking of invitations, It’s time to order and send them out ASAP. And don’t forget to add your wedding website to your invitation. These days many people tend to discard or misplace their invitations, so providing the website will help in the event this happens.
5. It’s dress-up time. Unfortunately, you don’t have much time for various fittings, but luckily you can find many local bridal salons that offer trunk shows or samples sales. So not only can you get a beautiful designer dress, you may even get it at a great price. Don’t forget your shoes and accessories!
6. Choose your tux. The typical timeframe for tuxedo shops is 14 days, so the fact that you are planning a great wedding in a short timeframe, doesn’t affect this area of the process at all.
7. Book your wedding vendors. Unless you are hiring a wedding planner, this next part will be the most difficult, tedious, and time-consuming part of the journey. Ask friends/ family/ coworkers for recommendations on good, local vendors to use on your special day. Do your research and book them ASAP. This includes: Wedding Planner/ Coordinator, Photographer, Videographer, Officiant, Event/ Floral Designer, DJ/ Entertainment, Hair and Makeup Artist (MUA), Cake Designer, Caterer, and anyone else you decide to have such as a photo booth.
Countdown to Planning a Great Wedding in a Short Timeframe – 25 Days
8. Schedule Trials and Tastings. If you are using a caterer or cake designer you never used before, be sure to schedule a quick tasting of what’s on your menu. Also, take this time to schedule your trial hair & MAU appointments. You don’t want to get a new hairstyle or make that you’ve never had before, the day of the wedding… To turn out to not like it. This is why, as a wedding planner, we highly recommend having a trial done of exactly what you are wanting to look like that day.
9. Shop and purchase wedding rings. And make sure you schedule to have them cleaned and sparkly for the big day.
10. Going on a honeymoon? Now is the time to start honeymoon planning as well. Decide on a destination, number of days and book your trip, including flight, hotel, and transportation.
11. Create a wedding timeline. Share this with your wedding coordinator, officiant and caterer to finalize the details. * If you are hiring a wedding coordinator, this may be included in your package.
Countdown To Planning A Great Wedding In A Short Timeframe – 20 Days
12. Plan your rehearsal dinner and inform everyone that’s invited.
13. Confirm and finalize all wedding details with each of your vendors. This is also a great time to send your photographer your shot list. That way you can make sure they capture your every detail.
14. Design, order and or print your wedding stationery. This includes: wedding programs, thank you cards, wedding signs, etc.
Countdown To Planning A Great Wedding In A Short Timeframe – 10 Days
15. Purchase gifts for each other and your wedding party, as well as order wedding favors for your guests.
16. Prepare your wedding vows.
17. Check with vendors to confirm all final payments, timelines, delivery & set up, etc. You want to make sure everyone is on the same page with all details.
18.Last minute shopping. Be sure to purchase all your small items that easily slip your mind, such as; garter belt, something blue, something old, something borrowed, something blue, dress to change into at the reception, lingerie and honeymoon necessities.
Countdown To Planning A Great Wedding In A Short Timeframe – 5 Days
19. Head to your local courthouse and apply for your marriage license. Determine who you will designate to be in charge of the paperwork until you arrive back from your honeymoon. Make sure it’s someone you can rely on, like your mother or Maid of Honor.
20. Start packing. Be sure to pack for the wedding day, wedding night and honeymoon.
21. Confirm & finalize all details again with your wedding coordinator. If you decide not to hire one, reach out to all of your vendors and confirm with them directly. You can do this by giving them a quick call or shooting them a quick email.
22. Schedule your mani, pedi, wax, and massage!
Countdown to Planning a Great Wedding in a Short Timeframe – 1 day
23. It’s time to RELAX! You’ve put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this wedding thus far and now you can relax and prepare for your special day. But, while you still have time, head on over to relax and enjoy some quiet time as you get pampered at the spa. Trust me, you’ll need it!
Countdown to Planning a Great Wedding in a Short Timeframe – Today Is the BIG Day… Are You Ready?
24. Get Married!
I know it was a lot of work, but I promised it was possible to get this done. No matter how quickly your wedding day is approaching, as long as you have this hit list of what to do and when… you too can plan a great wedding in a short timeframe!
Bio: Porche Photography offers not only photography but wedding planning and printing services as well. Whether you are planning a wedding over the course of a year or the course of a month, Porche offers hands-on services to line up and coordinate vendors, manage your guest list, and handle every detail.
Begin in 2008 by Certified Event Planner Keeyawna Porche, the company has expanded its services from event planning to include wedding planning. Sought after in the Atlanta area, Porche Weddings has an unrivaled set of skills in etiquette, design, and entertaining.