Having a long, drawn out engagement isn’t every bride’s idea of heaven. If you want to get married at short notice, here are our tips on how to plan a wedding within six months.
As with any wedding, the first thing to do is set a budget. Also make a rough list of wedding guests, so you know how far your budget needs to stretch. For brides who want a tailor-made dress, now is the time to choose and order it – designers will need this time to make it for you.
Quick win: Go to wedding fairs to look for wedding dresses or ask for last season’s sample designs in wedding boutiques. If you can find a dress design you like that has already been made, you’ll just need to get it tailored to fit.
You may have to be flexible with your date when getting married at short notice. Have a rough idea of when you’d like to get married, then look at some venues. Your venue provides the backdrop to all your photos and future memories, so prioritise choosing the perfect venue above all else. Ask the venue for any late availability offers – you may save yourself some money. After securing the reception venue, book the wedding ceremony if it’s taking place elsewhere, then send out invitations straight away. If you haven’t got time to create a wedding gift list, ask for money towards your honeymoon or vouchers from your favourite department store.
Quick win: Choose a venue that can also organise the catering and has accommodation options for guests – you’ll save yourselves lots of time and headaches.
This is the time to book all the suppliers for your wedding day. Prioritise finding a photographer, videographer and band or DJ. Given the short notice, your first choice of supplier may be booked up for your wedding date. Send enquiries to a few photographers, videographers and musicians in one go to save time.
If catering is already taken care of by your venue, all you’ll need to do is choose your menus and leave the rest to them.
Quick win: There are a lot of directory websites specifically for wedding photographers or wedding bands. Visit a website like this to quickly identify a handful of suppliers you’re interested in working with. Ask the venue for their recommendations too.
Choose wedding clothing for your bridesmaids and groomsmen at this stage. There’s still time to have bridesmaid dresses tailor-made, as long as the designs are not too complex. This is also the time to chase up any missing RSVPs for the wedding, as you’ll need to start confirming numbers with suppliers soon.
Quick win: Sending your invitations out online using a service such as Paperless Post helps you easily keep track of RSVPs. If anyone hasn’t replied, you can send a reminder with the click of a button.
Hopefully you’ve been imagining the look and feel of your wedding day throughout the process so far, so coming up with a theme or colour scheme shouldn’t be too difficult. Simple is often better – choosing a colour or a style such as ‘vintage’ is more than enough to get the creative juices flowing. If you’ve chosen a wedding venue that’s well-practiced at running weddings, they’ll have most of the décor already, so you’ll just need to source some of the finishing touches. Choose and order your flowers at this stage too.
Quick win: Find wedding décor ideas on websites such as Pinterest and source quirky finishing touches from auction websites such as eBay.
All the hard stuff is done by now. Confirm bookings with suppliers and pay them, have hen and stag parties and enjoy some relaxation time.
Quick win: Create a handy spreadsheet with names, contact details and a payment schedule for all your suppliers to make this final stage quick and painless.
A long engagement doesn’t have to mean a better wedding. With some careful planning, your dream wedding is attainable within six months!