How long do you really need to plan a wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Logistics
Post # 31
2458 posts
Buzzing bee

Wedding planning could take a few days (intimate court house ceremony + dinner at your favorite restaurant) or it could take years. It depends on a lot of factors, but the main things that people do in advance are 1.  booking the big stuff like venues, caterers, photographers, DJs, florists, and 2. Ordering the dress if you plan to go through a bridal salon. 

Our engagement will be 10 months and that was more than enough time for us, but we also didn’t have a specific date or venue in mind so we could be a bit flexible. Still, we’re having a June wedding in a major metro area and we still got our first choice of venue, photographer, caterer, etc. Our venue had about three days left in our timeframe (all Fridays or Sundays), so we just chose one of those days and booked everything else around it. If your heart is set on a certain date or venue or you need it to be on a Saturday night, then you’ll have more difficulty. You’ll also have more difficulty if you plan to buy a dress from a bridal salon where the dress takes 6+ months to even arrive, plus time for alterations. If you’re willing to buy your dress from someplace off the rack or with quick shipping (e.g. David’s Bridal, BHLDN, a white prom dress from a department store, a vintage etsy dress, etc), that will increase your flexibility a lot. And of course, if you plan to elope or do a small wedding with a restaurant reception, that requires even less planning. Another thing to consider is that if you have family scattered around the country who you want to come, you may need to give more notice for people to make travel plans. Ditto destination weddings (though they’re often all inclusive so the rest of the planning should be minimal).

Post # 32
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

We’re having a long engagement (just ended up that way with my schooling ending, moving, etc). We’ve been engaged since Jan 1, 2017 (so over a year) and our wedding isn’t until Sept. I easily could have planned the wedding in 9 months. It has been nice to have the time to do things as I please and not feel rushed but now I have all the big items done and it’s kind of a waiting game. 

Post # 33
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

favflamingo :  We got engaged end of October 2017 and our wedding is July 13 2018, so 8 months–I think this is a reasonable amount of time, personally. I haven’t done everything yet, but I feel confident we’ll have plenty of time. Ultimately it depends on the expectations you and your partner have for the celebration. 

You can plan a beautiful wedding in small windows of time if you’re savvy. I love this story for inspiration:


Most of us will want more time than that, but just remind yourself to part with convention and don’t always listen to what “they” say. Do what YOU want and what will make you comfortable and not stressed out.


Post # 34
1777 posts
Buzzing bee

Technically all you need is the time for the waiting period for your marriage license where you are.

It really depends on what you want, how fancy, how fussy are you about location and vendors, as well as what your budget restraints are and if you have funds available to pay quickly and choose quickly. 

If you’re having guests more than just immediate and local family, I would say you need 4 months if you’re willing to compromise.

I’ve watched people pull together their Niagara Falls elopement in 24 hours and seen other couples take 2 years.

Post # 35
1777 posts
Buzzing bee

12_Elle :  I love your wedding, it was the bee out sourced wedding! Turned out amazing!

Post # 36
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Our engagement will have been exactly a year the day of our wedding, and honestly I think I would have gone crazy trying to pull it off in a shorter time period. I think 6 months would be the absolute quickest I could’ve planned (but Fiance and I are also in school and working full time while wedding planning, so it’s hectic). For us, it wasn’t necessarily that our wedding was particularly expensive or elaborate, but just that most of the vendors in our area booked so far in advance. My hairstylist just completely let me down (it’s a long story) so now I’m having a hard time finding and booking a new one, and I’m still 6 months out. 

Post # 37
6945 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

You don’t really NEED that much time, it just depends on how picky you are and your budget.

We planning in 9 months. I’m also a wedding vendor myself and pretty much know what I wanted and who I wanted to work with. I also knew what season I wanted to get married in, so that narrowed things down for us too.

The biggest issue you’ll run into is availability of vendors on short notice. That being said, if you aren’t picky or you’re open to non-premium dates you can easily work around that.

Post # 38
518 posts
Busy bee

We planned our wedding in a week! I just got married yesterday!! ๐Ÿ˜Š Saying that though we wanted a very small and simple wedding and my husband’s brother helped a lot (love my new in-laws). If you wanted a bigger wedding you would need longer obviously, but definitely doable in under a year ๐Ÿ˜Š

Post # 39
974 posts
Busy bee

DaniGirl03 :  ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I love that. And thank you!

Post # 40
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard

We also did ours in about 4 months and managed to have a wedding we both ended up pretty happy with. My husband wanted a huge fancy wedding and I wanted to elope so we had a smaller but quick wedding in a vineyard. Would have been married 2 months earlier but his side has a bunch of kids so we needed to wait til they were off school first to make it easier for the parents. Just be open minded about venues. Sometimes just sprucing a place up with decorations and lighting can make a place look lovely!

I also booked everything as soon as I could. Hair, makeup, venue, bakery, all of that. Good luck!  

Post # 41
108 posts
Blushing bee

My mom and dad did it in 3 months and “she only forgot the bobby pins!”

Post # 42
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018 - Tizer Gardens/Carroll College

My wedding was planned in less than three months but wasn’t completely booked until about six months after.  The problem is making sure you get all the vendors you want (or not being choosy about it) and making sure the timeframe fits your needs. Now I have a little more than 4 months to sit and wait for it all to come to fruition.

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