(Closed) Any tips on planning a wedding in a short time period (5 mo.)?

posted 7 years ago in Logistics
Post # 5
4038 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

This helped me a lot (our engagement was 3 months): http://www.basicinvite.com/wedding-etiquette/article-library/planning-with-a-short-engagement 

Also, don’t be afraid to delegate. It would have been much harder for me to get everything done if I hadn’t had help, and was very lucky that I had people around me willing (and offering) to help. 

ETA: Also, it helps to have a clear vision of what you want. There’s really no time for waffling. I hate making decisions, so this was actually a blessing for me…I didn’t have the time or luxury of second-guessing myself. I had to go with my gut about a lot of things and not look back. 

Post # 6
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

My advice would be to order your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses ASAP!  I am planning with a 6-month timespan and I have had to pay $80 rush shipping on each dress to ensure that it gets here in time to do alterations.  Also try to secure your venue and your photographer earlier on because people generally book those a year in advance.  With food and flowers you can wait a little longer.

Post # 7
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

stay organized and keep in contact with your vendors regularly.  our engagement 7 months which included Thanksgiving and Christmas when nothing was done.

For me, it took about 2-3 weeks to order the dress, find the location, and pick all the vendors…then maybe another week to secure the contracts and all that.  I had a notebook with all the contracts, an excel sheet with all the vendors and when I had paid deposits, when balances were due, etc. I included “ideas” like stuff I needed to buy before the day like Out of Town bag goodies and hair styles I liked. 

After all the vendors were booked, there was really nothing to do until the month before when I had to meet with all of them to finalize details. 

Because of this, I could not fatham people how people handle being engaged for longer than that – I would have just obsessed and spent more money.  Our 7 mo engagement was definitely one reason why our wedding was so inexpensive for DC.  Don’t think of how much time you don’t have, but how easy it is to accomplish it all in that timeline.

Post # 8
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We are having a little over a three month engagement. When I went in three weeks ago (like 3 weeks into my engagement) I was told I didnt have time to order my dress and would have to buy it off the rack…so if you want a special ordered dress I would take care of that ASAP..get your efficient, your wedding liscence…all the small but SUPER important things. Everything else falls together once you get the venue…and I agree with spinningstars…Get your photographer booked ASAP…its wedding season and they book up so fast, you basicly have to go with your gut!! Good luck and congrats!!!

Post # 9
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We’ll only have about 4.5 months of engagement total.  I felt ok with it since I’m a wedding planner for a living.

Silly bride, planning your own wedding is WAY harder!

The first 2 weeks I couldn’t even do anything because of a crazy ass work deadline, so you’re ahead of the game there πŸ™‚

What’s worked for me is lots and lots of spreadsheets in Google Docs.  That way I can view them from any computer, and source other people to them as needed.

Make a guest list ASAP.  I did this in a spreadsheet in Google docs and sourced my mom and my fiance.  I put a column at the beginning for our initial, the next column titled ‘relation’.  Then names addresses, etc.  The first two columns really helped with making sure we didn’t forget anyone.  Fiance has a BIG extended family (farmers!) and more 1st cousins than in my entire family.  We did Aunt/Uncle, Cousin, Parent, Sibling, Grandparent, Friends, Work Friends.  Mega helpful… especially when you realize you need to cut people.

Take care of your save the dates as soon as you can.  Think about doing a wedding website and set that up so you can include the address on the save the date.

Book a photographer and a DJ and your officiant ASAP.  They can only do one event a day.  Your florist and baker if needed can wait a little bit but make that the next vendors to take care of.

Depending on what style of dress you want, where you go, and what size you are, getting a dress could be a huge task or no big deal.  I didn’t realize it took so long for many wedding dresses to be ordered.  (Since this is something I’m not usually involved with for work).   I was really stressed about it.  Bought my dress 3/18 and just heard today that it’s in, 3 weeks earlier than expected.  Mine was ordered from David’s Bridal.  For my budget, size and timeline they were my first and really only option.

Choose your wedding party and decide their attire very soon as well.  Our guys are wearing black suits (since that’s what they all already owned) with white shirts and black shoes.  We’re providing ties and socks.  Girls were told they could wear any dress in an aqua-ish color.  One bought a David’s dress just out of convenience, another found one on Ebay that matched.

I made a ‘wedding shopping’ spreadsheet.  I have columns for attire/ceremony/reception/paper/and other.  I listed everything I thought I needed, once I bought it, I highlighted it.  Once I found something, but didn’t buy, I highlighted another color.  That way I at least knew what I had figured out.

As I came across ideas I liked, I bookmarked them into folders – ceremony/music/flowers etc.  And made even more spreadsheets for random thoughts I had – photos I wanted taken, songs to play, dessert buffet stuff.

We found we also needed to make a timeline of monies that would be due.  Since we do not use credit cards, we are totally dependent on paycheck days and had to make sure we were saving and spending on the right things at the right time.

What is AWESOME about a short timeframe is you don’t have time to double guess yourself.  Once you find something you’re looking for – act and move on.  The things that don’t matter that much to you – delegate.  I didn’t care about a shower, but my mom wanted to throw one and went all over that. 

I’ve planned hundreds of weddings, and know that while it’s a whirlwind for a little bit and can sometimes seem overwhelming – you’ll be done so much sooner!  And enjoying married life without wedding politics and drama overtaking your life.

I’m sure this is a book by now, but hopefully it helps a little!  Feel free to send me any other questions you might have πŸ™‚  I promise I’m way better at helping others with their wedding questions!

Good luck!


Post # 10
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I am planning my wedding in 6 months… I have 4 months left πŸ™‚ I pretty much have everything done, and could be completely finished if it weren’t for involving my mom and Future Mother-In-Law. My best advice is to know whay you want. Don’t keep second guessing yourself, make decisions and move on. You can keep changing things in your wedding… but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the “picture perfect” vision that you had before. Basically, you can get away with your first decision and it will still be beautiful. Get a dress like ASAP, unless you plan on buying off the rack. But even then, hurry up! You can give your BMs some options as far as the dress goes, but don’t be afraid to make an executive decision. They need their dresses ordered ASAP as well.

I never understood how people could take more than 6 months planning a wedding (mostly because I’m already done). But I’m guessing it’s because they want to take their time and make decisions about things more than once (just in case). I was never like this, so it was really easy for me to plan in 2 months πŸ™‚

Post # 11
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m planning my wedding in 4.5 months (coming up in 6 weeks – eeeek!). Without a doubt, I am happy that I chose to do that – it gave us less time to stress and to come up with things to spend money on, and has given us a great excuse to make it small and simple!

My advice: KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!):

1.Don’t bother with Save-the-Dates, just send your invitations early (we got addresses by email or phone, and made the comment that ‘we thought that long engagements are overrated, so we’re getting married on May 14, and we’d love to have you there – can we please get your mailing address so we can send you an invitation’. Our guests appreciated the bit of heads up, and we had fun doing it that way.

2. Get your dress! I was lucky and I found one that I love that fit me off the rack and needed no alterations. But if you do need alterations, get thee to a tailor ASAP!

3. Decide what’s important to you and just let everything else slide. For us, it was the location and the photographer – so we got those done first. Everything else, we’re taking the easy way out (first caterer that fit our budget, check. same for rentals. bridesmaid dresses: we’re going the mismatched route, so I just told them a colour and are letting them choose their own. etc.).

4. No really, let everything else slide. Beautiful lanterns? We don’t need to spend the money and I don’t have time to get them, so we’re not having them. (Mason jars with candles, on the other hand, I’m not letting slip).

For us, the short engagement gave us the excuse to have a really small wedding (we don’t have time to plan a big bash), and we’re dropping a lot of (what to us are the) bells and whistles (paper lanterns, favors, matching bridesmaid dresses). It’s probably saving us a lot of money. While it’s not going to be a ‘blog-worthy’ wedding, it’s going to have everything important to us there – most importantly, we have 46 of 50 invited guests RSVPing YES (and more than half are out of state!).

Relax. Have fun. Prioritize. And really just don’t worry about the details.

And congratulations!

Post # 12
659 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Not having a wedding party was insanely helpful – I just told my sister and husband’s sister to wear what they wanted, and that was it.  I didn’t have to coordinate anything or worry about anyone else.  It was very helpful

Post # 13
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I had almost 4 months to plan our small wedding.  After sitting around and enjoying being engaged for 1 or 2 wks, the first thing I did was find an officiant, photographer, and venues (this took about 1 wk).  I was worried they’d be most difficult to book.  Very soon after that, I went and found a dress (had to go alone because no one was available at the last minute, but I was on a mission!).  I shopped for one day and ordered a dress same day.  It helps to really narrow down what you want (style, material, and budget), otherwise you’ll try on a million dresses and get overwhelmed.  Next, I rush ordered invitiations and skipped save-the-date cards.  I had only one bridesmaid (my sister) but I would have also been happy with no wedding party.  She needed her dress rush ordered.  I met with a florist and baker about 3 wks before the wedding to pick out what I wanted.  I made wedding cookies 2 nights before the wedding and used these as my favors. It was pretty easy for me to plan. Like others have said before, just make a decision and roll with it.

Post # 14
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

venue venue venue #1 thing to figure out.

Then right away dress

Everything else shouldn’t take that long. 

keep your guest count low and do it earby so people don’t have to travel far to get there.

Post # 15
4520 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We planned ours in 5 months, too. I honestly would not have wanted to drag it out any longer! My advice is when you make a decision, don’t look back and second guess yourself. Just keep moving forward! This is roughly how we did it:

1. Venue (which included catering) booked: 4 months out

2. Dress ordered: 3 months out

3. Invitations sent: 2 months out

4. Photographer and music booked: 1.5 months out

5. Menu selected and tasted: 1.5 months out

6. Cake ordered: 1.5 months out

7. Flowers booked: 1 month out

Hm, that’s all I remember. Keep it simple, and have fun!

Post # 16
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

You can google wedding timelines a bunch will come up. You deff need to book a church and meet with the person that is marrying you.. Maybe not a church if thats not your style.. I would just say the most important thing is organization. Make lists keep a binder with all your contracts etc. Have fun with it all dont get to stressed but make sure that your not overwhelming yourself if you need help dont be afraid to delegate.. (in a nice way) to the people around that are helping you!!

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