Just engaged? Been Engaged a while and just want to get married already!? Wherever you’re at with your wedding planning, if you want this year to be your wedding year, then you’ll want to get your plan on and get moving. Can I plan a wedding in six months or less? Absolutely. How do I plan a wedding in six months or less? Read on.
How to plan a wedding on a quick timeline
Advice from a real bride
My friend Jo planned her wedding in just 9 weeks. She was married at a church and was able to use land on her parents business to host the reception, converting poly-tunnels into a beautiful reception venue.
Jo’s biggest piece of advice is to delegate jobs to your friends, family and bridal party. ‘We had such a short time to plan our wedding that we had to accept all the help we could get! My mum and dad and my maid of honour helped loads by organising the venue, decorations and food. We also took loads of recommendations on our suppliers from friends. On a short time scale it’s important to make decisions really quickly, and to trust those that you’ve delegated to!’
Your dream wedding dress
When it comes to your dress, Lisa from Lisa Lyons Bridal says that having a bespoke dress created for you can actually be a lot quicker and ensure you have the perfect dress for your big day. ‘I’m used to working on timescales of around 3-4 months, whereas larger bridal retailers like you to order your dress up to a year in advance, so if you’re planning a wedding in six months, that just won’t be long enough in a lot of cases, or you may be charged a premium. For me, a six month timescale or longer is a luxury!’
Whilst you can only give notice of marriage with a registrar a year in advance, registrars will often reserve their time slots with more than a year to go until the day. For my wedding, I called the registrar one year to the day in advance and they only had one time slot left available! If you struggle to find an available registrar for the right date or time, don’t panic, as you do have other options! Considering a celebrant is a great idea, and one which is becoming more and more popular at the moment. Kelly Hawes says ‘Choosing a celebrant gives you more flexibility and means you can book an alternative wedding venue that doesn’t have a marriage license – these are more likely to be available. A celebrant will usually only hold one ceremony a day, so you will be able to choose your time to fit around the plans for your day.’
Another tip from Rachel Vine of Veiled Productions is to opt for a weekday wedding. If you’re concerned that your favourite suppliers might be booked up already for a weekend wedding, think about booking one on a weekday. As a photographer, I’d concur with this advice! I typically get booked up for peak days (Fridays and Saturdays) up to a year or more in advance, so opting for a weekday or Sunday is a great way to ensure the photographer you want is available.
Get those invites out!
Katy from Olive and Millicent suggests that if you’re on a tight schedule, don’t bother with save the dates and skip straight to invitations. As soon as you know your key dates, timings and venues, get your date in the diary for your guests! Even a quick text or email to make sure people put the date in their diary will ensure it’s pencilled in, so that people don’t book holidays or trips on the day of the wedding without realising that they’ll be missing your big day! Then you can create beautiful invites to send your guests the key details that they need.
Katy suggests that opting for an off the peg or house collection design would definitely be the best option, with turnaround times usually between 2-4 weeks. ‘Some stationers book up quite far in advance, so make sure you get in touch as early as possible in order to guarantee a design slot. Your on-the-day stationery (place cards, seating plan, menus etc) needs to be confirmed at least 8 weeks before your day – don’t worry if you haven’t got all of the details yet, most stationers will be happy to start on the design regardless.’
Planning a wedding in less than six months
Cake cake cake
Nina from Meadowsweet Cakes suggests that you consider keeping some plans simple but elegant. ‘Whilst it really depends on your date and suppliers availability, choosing a simple cake design with fresh flowers may be quicker to plan and order than going for a more intricate design, if you’re on a tight timeline. If time is tight and you can’t work out a time to book in your cake tasting in person, see if you can do it ‘virtually’. I can send out tasting packs of samples of my cakes in order for you to taste them without having to book an appointment to come to my studio and meet in person’.
Do yourself a favour and get help from the pro’s!
I sought some advice from wedding planners to see what advice they’d give you about planning a wedding in six months or less.
The lovely Natasha from Wildflower Wedding Planner covers Essex, Cambs and Herts. She had lots of fabulous advice for couples looking to plan a wedding with a quick turnaround. She says that her biggest piece of advice is to be flexible, but also decisive.
‘Ensure you’re speedy with your responses, getting back to people and making decisions, as this will really streamline the process as much as possible! You should also be flexible, and establish a list of priorities at the beginning, keeping in mind there will be areas you may need to compromise on.’
With the average wedding taking 250-300 hours to plan, it’s easy to see why many couples with a short timescale opt to hire a wedding planner. Natasha says, ‘With our little black book of tried and tested suppliers, we can save a lot of time that would otherwise be spent on researching and potentially missing out on securing key suppliers.’
Laura who runs Spain-based wedding planning company Reviva Weddings agrees with this advice. ‘When you’re working to a short timeframe, the key is to be able to move quickly and make fast decisions so you’re not wasting time when booking your suppliers. I tell all my clients working to a tight timeframe to do this, and also to consider weekday weddings too, for more flexibility.’
There are some key takeaways from all the advice I’ve been given here! Be decisive, be flexible, and as organised as possible!
Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog post! If you’re planning a wedding in six months or even less, I hope that this article has been helpful to you! If you’d like to discuss your photography, don’t forget you can drop me a line by popping over to my Contact page!