We got engaged on July 12, 2013 and are getting married May 17, 2014! Everyone told us that was ‘so fast’ but I really don’t feel like it is and everything has gone pretty smoothly so far.
1) Make a month-by-month timeline. Sit down and brainstorm in writing absolutely everything you will need to do and buy, start to finish. I’m talking get a visual in your head of how you want everything to look and be down to the little details. Then decide what you need to buy, do, and finalize for each month leading up to your wedding and get that all written out too. Spreadsheets work nice! I have found that when I think of everything I have to do all at once I start getting stressed out, but having it broken down by month makes it so I don’t feel overwhelmed since I’m meeting the goals I’ve set for myself.
2) Book the big things ASAP. I see this is already being discussed in this thread, but I concur that things can get booked up quickly so you will want to book things like photographer, venue, cake, etc as soon as you can! Be realistic with yourself that you may not get exactly what you want due to your timeline, but that’s okay! The important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life and you’re doing it soon! 🙂 It will be a beautiful wedding regardless of whether you get your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice for things!
3) Don’t get caught up in the little things. Realize that this is one day out of your life and while we all would love for it to go perfectly, there are things that just won’t be perfect and will go wrong, no matter how hard you try. And you will be the only one who will notice! For example, I am buying most of my decorations used, which means they might have a few flaws in them here and there, but I am saving tons of money AND I didn’t have to waste time searching in stores (I bought online locally).
4) Accept help. I’m the type who does everything myself usually and, truthfully, I need to take my own advice on this one! But if you can ask your fiance or your mom or your bridesmaids (or whoever!) to take on some tasks, that will take some of the load off your shoulders. You can always be the one to sign off on it in the end. And, in accordance with point 2) above, things don’t have to be ‘perfect’!
5) Relax, breathe, and have fun!