How to plan a wedding quickly became a constant Pinterest search for me after April of 2016. When my fiancee and I set the date for our wedding for a mere two months after we got engaged, we thoroughly shocked most who then asked us, this June?
Yes, this June! Here’s how we planned our wedding in a scant 69 days!
Exactly How to Plan Your Wedding Quickly!
Say Yes to the Dress
I found my dress! Five days after we were engaged, I walked into David’s Bridal and told the consultant two things: my $500 budget and that I wanted sleeves. Yes, I got married in June, but I wanted long, lacy, princessy sleeves. The second dress I tried on was perfect except it didn’t have sleeves. But did you know that in alterations, sleeves can be added? They let me try on the addable sleeves, and the affect was perfect. Especially since I could buy that dress straight of the rack (a must when on a mission to plan a wedding quickly!).
Advice for Choosing a Wedding Gown:
- I heartily recommend David’s Bridal. No gagging over my short engagement, budget, or wants. They were there to make my dreams come true.
- Set up an appointment ahead of time. A friend mentioned that weekdays are far less crazy than Saturdays, and she’s absolutely right! So book your appointment for a weekday morning or early afternoon (mine was a Friday at 2pm and I was one of only two brides in the store)!
- Have a rough idea of what you want. Make an account with David’s Bridal so that you can save Favorites from their online selection, showing your potential consultant exactly your style in advance. Or bring print-outs of your favorite pins.
The dress I found was $250 on sale, off-the-rack before alterations, putting it precisely within my budget!
Book the Venue
Devin and I went through five different wedding dates and twelve venues in twenty-fours the week after we were engaged. So much was in the air all at once! At the end of that week, we ended up with TWO venues with our name on them and had to make our final decision between the two. We were so pleased to be getting married at my grandma’s church. This just so happened to be where I was in my first-ever wedding at twelve years old, my cousin’s wedding way back when. I’m tickled to have gotten married in the church where I have some fun memories of that first wedding experience!
Advice for Choosing a Venue:
- Determine your guest list. Something I knew I wanted was a dessert reception, which would not only cut the cost of providing dinner but would also allow me to have favorite treats (I’m a sugar-aholic). I drew up a tentative guest list just a few months into Devin’s and my relationship and came to 200 people. This is a lot! Especially when approaching potential venues, so try to mention it up-front lest you receive an immediate “We can’t seat that many.” Which did happen to me.
- Decide if you want indoor or outdoor. I’d like to think of myself as a reasonable person, but I know that praying away rain would be a bit much too much worry for me. (Plus, I’m a curly girl getting married in June. #humidity) I wanted to get married inside in a beautiful church ceremony. Which meant I needed seating for 200 people in an indoor ceremony space and reception space. This cut our venue list to ONE place (the second-choice was having the ceremony at Devin’s and my church and renting reception space elsewhere). There are a lot more options for outdoor ceremonies, I quickly learned, but I’m beyond thrilled I got what I wanted: separate, spacey indoor ceremony and reception areas.
- Ask about dates. Having a short engagement necessitated this. One of the first questions I asked potential venues was what their availability was. When you plan a wedding quickly, you need to know who can house you that quickly! We had five different potential wedding dates. Ultimately, we had fewer dates because Devin’s time-off request window shortened. Thankfully, our venue, apartment, and his time-off came together perfectly.
Find a Photographer
This was such a tricky one. In my original budget estimates, I allotted half as much to photography as is the industry standard. There was some stickers shock, oops. Do your research, brides. ;) In the end, we were between three different photographers…In the end we chose the photographer who graciously offered us a discount on both photography and videography. I’m so glad to have my dream come true of having a video from that day!
Advice for Choosing a Photographer:
- Determine your budget. We’re on a less-than-the-ridiculous-standard budget that is fitting well for what we want, but photography is certainly a big chunk of that.
- Decide what you want. When approaching photographers, I was quick to mention we are planning a 2pm wedding ceremony, but I want a First Look with both my dad and Devin, so photography coverage would still come to about the standard 4 hours. Having this information up front is important. Eventually, too, you’ll probably need a consultation with your photographer to go over the wedding day outline and photo list, so getting started on these early is also helpful.
- Ask about dates. Again, having a short engagement necessitated that we know ahead of time if the photographer was booked for the next six months! God worked it out that our venue and the photographer were both available on our dream day, which also coincided with our apartment opening and Devin’s time off for our honeymoon.
Other Helpful Tips:
- My bridesmaids wore whatever they want, and ended up all choosing different shades of teal. I wanted them to be comfortable, and that way they didn’t have to order a dress!
- My bouquets were all silk (for allergy + keepsake purposes) and created by my mother, a talented florist. We snagged the flowers at Michael’s on the same day I bought my dress! When you are planning your wedding quickly, multi-tasking and packed shopping days become habit!
App Recommendations for Wedding Planning:
- Wedd Budget – if you want just the basic, add-an-expense budget app
- Wedding Wire – I am loving this budget app but I haven’t yet figured out how to add a transaction on mobile. The website rocks, though! The countdown is my absolute favorite (days + hours + minutes + seconds).
- The Knot – this easy wedding website creator is fabulous, and I like that it compiles your guestbook, too (in a separate app, though).
More Resources for Short Engagements:
- The Theory and Practice of Short Engagements, Trina Holden
- Wedding Planning, Gretchen Louise
- 4 Lessons in Wedding Planning, Jenni Marie