While the average bride takes at least eight months to plan their wedding, not everyone can or wants to wait that long to say, “I do.” Life gets in the way, and it could be challenging to plan a wedding far into the future if you have other things going on in your life.
From scheduling time off to coordinating schedules with loved ones, sometimes moving the date up just makes sense. Here are some strategies to plan a wedding in a short amount of time.
Knowing What to Skip
Start by knowing what to skip and cross off your checklist. Conventional weddings often have veritable checklists of items that can easily be not included on your big day. From wedding favors and monogrammed napkins to a live band or a large venue, these extras are not always necessities. If you want these extras for your wedding, you can find a way to include them — overnight shipping and printing wedding thank you cards and invites, make it easy — but know that your wedding doesn’t have to include everything under the sun.
Starting with the Legalities
Start by looking at the legalities. Specifically, you need to find out how a person gets married in your state or wherever you expect to have your ceremony. The requirements can be very different between places. Also, take the time to assemble the documents you need. If you need to order something like a birth certificate, it could take weeks.
Deciding Where to Tie the Knot
After you have the mechanics of getting married covered, planning your wedding starts with determining where you want to have your nuptials and who will perform the ceremony. Some couples will choose to visit a courthouse while others want to get married in the church they’ve attended since childhood.
There are no wrong answers here, but the availability of your venue and the ability of a particular person to perform the wedding ceremony may influence when you have your wedding as well as how you dress and decorate. Decide where you want to get married and see when the venue is available.
Getting Ready for the Reception
Next, think about your reception. Where do you want to celebrate your first hours as a married couple? Like your chosen venue, you may need to make sure your reception area is free on your special day. Sometimes these places can book up months in advance. However, if you can compare the availability of your wedding venue with that of your reception area, you can find a date that suits you or come up with a combination that is available on the day you’ve already picked.
Picking a Wedding Dress
Once you know where and when you are getting married, pick a dress (or another outfit) to wear during your wedding. Sample sales are a good opportunity for getting a great deal on wedding gowns. But unless you perfectly fit the size you find and are tall enough not to need a hem, you are going to need to send the dress to a seamstress or tailor. And unfortunately that will take time, so shop as early as possible.
Sending Out Invitations and Other Announcements
Finally, order your wedding invitations and announcements. You will need time to design them and have them printed while your guests will need as much notice as possible so they can make arrangements to attend your wedding day. You might also want to develop a wedding website. They make it easy to give your guests all the information they need, such as the schedule of wedding events, how to find your venue, and your gift registry. You can also ask your guests to RSVP there.
Planning a Whirlwind Wedding
No matter what your reason for wanting to get married sooner rather than later, the time to start planning your wedding is now. Plan for the legalities, then decide where you will get married and where you will hold the reception. From there, get your dress and pick out your invitations or wedding website. The rest will fall into place easily.