Yes, yes, a perfect wedding planning window is ideally 12-18 months but what if you simply don’t have that amount of time? Whatever the reason for having to plan a whirlwind wedding (perhaps you just don’t want to wait?), today I’m writing down my advice for how to plan a wedding in a shorter time frame.
There are some lovely upsides to planning a wedding within a 6-month time frame; you don’t have to wait as long is top of the list! There is also the bonus that less time gives you less opportunity to deliberate (or faff) over every little decision.
There are, however, a few trickier pieces: typically venues and suppliers get booked up far in advance; not all your guests may be available to attend; many wedding dresses made to order need at least 6 months... It is, however, more than possible. Here’s how…
Before you even begin, you’ll need to get into the right mindset. This means two things: prepare to be flexible and be prepared to make compromises. I’ll give you an example. Venues get booked early doors. If you want maximum pick of your favourite venues, the chances of being able to book a Saturday in the summer, 6 months out are highly unlikely. If you are willing to get married mid week or off-season (winter weddings can be wonderful…) you stand much greater chance of securing your dream venue.
The next piece of advice would be, prepare yourself to get decisive and organised. The biggest hindrance to planning a wedding can be the “grass is always greener” or “am I making the right decision” thoughts which can spiral out of all proportion. The more you can be confident and clear on at the outset the better.
So, if you’ve decided you can be decisive and flexible what’s next?
START WITH THE BUDGET AND GUEST LIST
Before you begin, I would start with how much you have to spend coupled with how many people you would like to invite. Numbers and budget narrow down and set the parameters of so many decisions to come. Pin down your other half, chat it through and work these pieces out first.
BOOK YOUR BIG STUFF
Once you’ve covered the budget and numbers, you can then start investigating the big bookable items and suppliers. I would do this before you even start mapping out anything further. The top of the list includes: venue (ceremony and reception venue); caterers (if not attached to your venue) and photographer. If you are struggling short listing suppliers, consider short cutting your search time and hire the help of a professional. Many planners will offer supplier search and recommendation services.
TELL THE KEY PEOPLE
If you’ve penciled in a date and a venue, you’ll want to tell your family and important friends when and what you are planning. Digital save the dates at this point can be a real timesaver.
MAKE A PLAN
Now make a plan. Yes it sounds boring but it is so reassuring to have a month-by-month checklist of what needs to be done next. I find working backwards from the wedding day helps. A plan will save your sanity and make you feel so good when you can check pieces off!
ASK FOR SOME HELP
If you’re planning a whirlwind wedding and you are already a busy person (who isn’t?) you will need some help. Ask for it! You won’t want to delegate everything but you will need to get others on board to help with some pieces. Don’t be afraid to ask.
RELAX & KEEP IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE
Planning a wedding in 6 months or less is an undertaking but, when it all starts to feel a little too much, try and remember what matters and let what doesn’t wash over you. Most of all enjoy it and have fun.
image credits : Greg Finck, Milton Photography, Victoria Phipps, Jasmine Rae Cakes.