(Closed) Short engagement — tips?

posted 4 years ago in DIY
Post # 2
1465 posts
Bumble bee

My engagement is 9 months which is a bit out of your range (we are planning a formalish wedding for 100 guests). But I definitely think a shorter engagement than mine would have been feasible. I would just have to do more things in a shorter timespan. 

I think it is possible to find deals year round if you look hard enough. I found great deals on my vendors and I am getting married in wedding season. Try Thumbtack, friends of friends, etc to get good deals. 

Your first priority will need to be finding a venue and caterer then everything can work around that. Once you finalize your venue then you will know how long your engagement needs to be. I got lucky and got my 1st choice place for my 1st choice date 9 months out (probably because I am marrying on a Sunday) but that rarely happens. 

Post # 3
3855 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

We got married on the first day of Winter, had about 65 people including the wedding party and did it all with a 5 month engagement. One of the things that made it easier for us though was that we had a super low key celebration. Our venue was on a piece of private property that we got land owner permission to use, but the few things that we did rent like chairs and a porta potty were no problem to secure on short notice. We did dinner at our favorite restaurant and just rented the whole thing out, and winter is their slow season so it wasn’t a problem. We had our cupcakes made locally and I would say I ordered them maybe 2 months in advance? My BM’s knew they would be my BM’s for years, so the minute I got engaged I called them and told them to buy dresses. We arranged for an out of town trip to go dress shopping for me in late Sept, which gave me plenty of time to get a dress and would have been plenty of time for alterations but I ended up not needing them. I’m sure there are a million reasons to have a super long engagement, but we didn’t need one at all, everything came together perfectly. It may have also helped that super short engagements are the norm here with the prevalent religious culture, so most wedding affiliated places are accustomed to that. 

Post # 4
1259 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2022 - Maui

My first engagment was 8 months for a february wedding with 110 guests. My friends thought it was quick but people had plenty of time to make travel arrangments and our caterers didnt even take a deposit until the last month or so (Aloha time). It can be done. I donʻt remember feeling rushed. My bridal party was all able to attend. We picked everything extra early and quick. At the time I had no idea people were really engaged for year+ until I got on forums and realized I was the odd one out. Know what you want and shop around, give everyone heads up as soon as possible 🙂

Post # 5
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’m planning a similar sized wedding with a bit longer timeline (almost 8 months) – but I think 6 months is doable (I haven’t felt overwhelmed with my timeline)! 

When I called around about venues, (I went a little crazy and called dozens) many places came right out and offered up off-season discounts (really good discounts, or add-ons, etc) for the shorter end of the time range I was looking at.  I was surprised, but they even offered the discounts through June, which I thought was supposed to be a popular month. But since it was only 4 months out at the time, whatever days weren’t booked yet weren’t likely to be, and they’re happy to get the spaces filled. My guess is you could defintely score a great deal! Don’t be afraid to ask if they have any promotions or offers available for short-notice bookings if they don’t bring it up. 


Post # 6
299 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

We are having a 100-person destination wedding and a 7 month engagement. We found a venue in about 3-4 weeks after getting engaged and it was a lot to plan at the beginning, but we’ve made it work. Be prepared to have to settle for an odd date – we are doing ours on a Sunday and it’s much easier to find available vendors, venues, etc. We got a slight discount on the venue but not much discount elsewhere.

Post # 7
1058 posts
Bumble bee

Our engagement was from Jan 21 to this Friday & we have 180 guests.


My advice: take off from work now & plan on needing a few more PTO days.  Basically don’t get sick between now and your wedding lol

Post # 8
4835 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
jonasbutterfly :  We felt hte same way!  By the time we got engaged, we were really ready to just get married!  Our engagement was 5 months and it worked out pretty well for us. For me it felt like plenty of time.

My tips are:

1) Keep it simple.  Officiant / vows / guests /food / music.  These are essential.  Cutsey photo ops and accessories are optional and are both a time and money sink.  Cover the essentials before you worry about the little details.

2) Make decisions and move forward.  One of the best things, IMO, about a shorter timeline is it forces you to make decisions and move forward in a practical way.  You can’t obsess over every photographer and drive yourself crazy.  You just have to find one that you like and book her. 

3) You most likely won’t be able to order in a dress.  Shopping off the rack was great IMO, but that may be different depending on what you want.

4) I always recomend the book A Practical Wedding as a great resource, especially if you are feeling that the task is a bit daunting.  

In answer to your question about discounts – we didn’t get any discounts for doign thigns on a shorter timeframe, but we probably ultimately saved some money because we cut out some of the parties (no engagement party, no rehersal dinner, for example) and other extras that aren’t really needed.

Post # 9
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I planned my wedding for 140ish people in a little under 6 months and I never felt horribly frantic. I just went down the list and started knocking things off. Start with the biggest things first and then gradually work toward the smaller stuff. I had my wedding at the end of December during the week (it worked out because of lots of reasons) and was able to save literal thousands of dollars. I have no doubt that if I had my same wedding on a Saturday night, it would have been twice as expensive. I did my own centerpieces out of wine bottles. They turned out looking great. My venue provided all of the beautiful specialty linens and anything else they had on the property for no extra charge.

As far as the bridal party was concerned, there was no problem. I live in TX. One bridesmaid lives in LA, Maid/Matron of Honor in Australia, Matron of honor in WI, one lived 2 hours away, and then one was within 20 minutes of me. They were all able to get their dresses on time and all that jazz. I picked the color and told them they could wear whatever they wanted. The three bridesmaids picked the same dress, lol. Maid/Matron of Honor and Maid/Matron of Honor picked very similar one shoulder dresses that complemented the others beautifully. I still have no idea how it worked out that well.

My advice is to pick the things you KNOW that you can DIY without a crap ton of stress and try to bargain hunt on everything else. My wedding was gorgeous, I had almost everything I wanted, excellent food, delicious cake, etc.for right around 13k.

Post # 10
661 posts
Busy bee

Keep it simple and stay organized. I had a 8.5 month engagement and I probably could have done it in less time. We are having a “in-season” wedding so we didn’t get any discounts, but I’m sure with a Winter wedding you could score some! 

Post # 11
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I was engaged for 9 months and planned a 110 people wedding in less than two months 😂  

Its totally doable! 

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