Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to Plan a Wedding in 3 Months or Less

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

Photo by Terry Bonham Photography

You might have noticed on my post about how I made my wedding dress that Jordan and I were only engaged for 3 months. Actually, it was just shy of that at 12 weeks and 3 days, but who's counting. It's a common thought that you need at least 6 months to a year to adequately plan a wedding, but in reality, how long it takes to plan a wedding is all subjective on you, what you want, and your budget. I have a very good friend who pulled together a stunning wedding in a week. Yes, I said 1 week!

I'm actually not sure exactly how much time went into planning our wedding. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted before we were engaged. I feel like most girls have at least an idea even if they don't admit it. So, once we had sealed the deal, it was just time to start actively putting the pieces together and making it happen. It was going really well for the first couple of weeks but started to go down hill when we bought our house a month later. We were so excited about our house that we put all our focus on house stuff, and I completely forgot to keep planning our wedding. It was 2 weeks before the wedding when I snapped out of my house brain and realized that we were getting married in 2 weeks and I still had a ton to do! Can you say freak out moment? I pulled together an emergency meeting at Starbucks with my sister and my mom to get things done. So, in a way, I only really actively planned for our wedding for a month and 2 weeks.

I really wanted a longer engagement but, once we were engaged, we both agreed that we were glad we went the quick route. We were so ready to be done with dating and move on with our life together that a long or just simply average engagement time would just be frustrating. So pulling off a wedding in 3 months or less can be done! However, planning a quick wedding comes with some conditions that you need to be aware of.

Limitations and Advantages

The first thing to be aware of is that there might be some limitations to what you can get in short notice, but with those limitations you might find some advantageous discounts. Some venues book a year in advance so last minute venue shopping can be tricky, especially if you have a particular venue in mind. But don't lose hope if this is the case, there are often cancellations and you can sometimes scoop up those dates if an opening does come available. This isn't always the case, but in some instances booking last minute can land you a discount. Most venues like to stay booked and when a cancellation happens, they want to fill that spot because some money is better than no money. Don't be afraid to barter pricing for last minute bookings! Just know that this is not true for all venues and might depend greatly on how in demand it is. Don't expect a discount if there are 5 others behind you wanting that date. But on the other side, you have the advantage of being the crazy bride booking 2 or 3 months before the date. There won't be that many of you.
That being said, you will have to be flexible on your date. If you have a specific date in mind that can't be moved, then you'll have to be more flexible on your venue choices and pick from what's available. These limitations unfortunately aren't just limited to venues, you will probably find yourself making these types of decisions a lot with last minute planning. Will you have enough time to get the dress you've always wanted if it's not in stock? Is your favorite baker booked till next November? And so on... You just have to decide if that's something you and your fiancé are ok with. Consider your priorities and ask yourself the question "How important are the details of my dream wedding?" and "Am I ok with not getting exactly what I want?" which leads me to my next point...

Think Outside the Box

Creativity can go a long way! If you are set on what you want and you still want to have a short engagement, then it's up to you to make it happen. Realize that it's going to be a lot of work but it can also make all the difference. When you run into a problem, find a way around it. Say your dream dress is not going to be possible on short notice, find a way to get something that you'll love just as much. You could buy a similar dress and get it altered to look more like the one you wanted or figure out something you love even more, whatever that might be! Having the need to be creative during planning can help you realize options that you might not have considered in the first place but might love more than your original idea. Even if you just want to get married and couldn't care less about what your wedding is like, a little creativity can still come in handy to just get it done! So get those creative juices flowing!

Make a Schedule (and stick to it)

I made a schedule and it would have worked out great if I had only followed it instead of getting so sidetracked with our house. So I highly recommend making a list of everything you need to do and and then setting goals for how and when you are going to get them done. I used an app called Wedding Planner by Wedding Wire and it was great! The app comes with a timeline checklist that you can edit to add your own items and take off things you don't need that the app's added. Even though the timeline was much longer than mine, it gave me a good place to start and had things on the list I might have forgotten about. I just kind of attacked the list and tried get caught up like I had been planning the whole time. I highly recommend it! Especially if you are doing a lot of diy projects for your wedding, doing a little bit at a time as you go will make it seem a lot easier than a mountain of crafting all at once. Also, try to plan out everything to be done a week earlier than your wedding. Last minute things will come up that last week, but the less you have to worry about the better. Plan for that last week to be a time to enjoy your last week of being engaged, think everything through in a relaxed state instead of a crazy stressed state, and get plenty of sleep. If I have one regret, it's not sleeping enough those last couple of days.

Tips on making a priority list:
First focus on the big ones: how, when, where, who, what

How many guests are going to be invited? This is important because it affects where and what.

When is the wedding going to be? This is a given, you obviously have to pick a date. Even if your date is flexible or dependent on venue options, you will need to at least think about options and black out any date that would absolutely not work, that way you don't jump on a venue booking just to remember that your grandmother is having surgery the day before...

Where is the wedding and reception going to be? Once you know how many guests are expected to attend, then you can start looking for venues that fit your needs.

Who is going to be involved? If you haven't already, you'll need to decide who will be involved in your wedding, including wedding party, officiant, ushers, and anything else that might be covered by family and friends.

What is everyone going to eat? You need to decide on a menu. Whether it's simple hors d'oeuvres or a full meal, you need to know what it's going to be and who is going to provide it.

What are you, and your party going to wear? Your dress will be the crown jewel of the ceremony so you'll want to get that taken care of! Along with what the beautiful people around you are going to wear as well.

What's left? Last, you need to fill in the gaps with whatever is left over that you need covered, such as cake, flowers, photos, etc. Luckily, I have a very wedding talented group of family and friends and didn't have to hire any vendors outside of a caterer and a venue, but you might not be so lucky and will want to have these things taken care of.

Another big thing to think about early on is anything that you might need to order. Online shopping will probably become your second job and you will want to make sure to leave plenty of time for everything to arrive on time!

Once you have these biggies covered, everything else is just details.

Get Help

This goes for any wedding planning process, but especially for planning in a short time. This is one thing I was very bad at. As a creative and somewhat stubborn person, I don't always know how to ask for help. It's not that I don't want help, it's just that I don't know how to ask for it. I usually have everything planned out exactly how I want it and sometimes it seems easier to do it myself than take the time to explain to someone else what I want and how they can help. For my wedding, I really didn't get any help until the last 2 weeks of planning after my freak out realization that I needed help and fast!

Be Confident 

One of the most important things you will need to pull off a quick wedding is confidence. Be prepared for people to think that you are crazy... or pregnant when you're not. be prepared for wedding industry workers to laugh at you and look at you like you have 3 heads when you tell them your timeline. Be prepared for people to tell you that you can't have a nice wedding in that amount of time. It will probably happen and you will have to just brush it off knowing that it is possible and that you can make it happen! Don't be intimidated by dress shops, bakers, and venues who look at you like you are a child who obviously doesn't know anything about anything because what they don't know is that you've got this! Even if you are having to prove it to yourself, just know that it is possible and that you can do it. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish if you just tell yourself that you can do it!

In all, short engagements aren't for everyone, but they are possible if it's what you want and you're willing to put in the work! Our wedding was almost everything I ever wanted! I say almost because there were some things that didn't go to plan, but whether you are engaged for 3 months or 3 years, know that there will always be things that don't go to plan. Ask anyone who has ever gotten married and they will tell you that stuff happens. So don't let the fear of things not being perfect keep you from doing what you want! In the end, almost what you wanted can be more than you even dreamed of.


Unknown said...

Thank you for the tips! :)

Bekah said...

I was a bridesmaid for my bff and she planned her wedding in 2 1/2 months. She followed a similar route you did in getting it all done in a short time. So, what you said is so true and truly works! :)

Ivie Brooks said...

Wow, your new blog looks amazing! I remember reading your old blog before I had a blog of my own. I loved seeing the recipes you'd post.

Those pictures are stunning. I think a lot of people make weddings into big drama when in reality, it should be the most exciting time of a person's life.

Beautiful blog!
God bless y'all!


Rammy Jones said...
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Eoin Morgan said...

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