jonasbutterfly : this is long but:
I had a 3 month engagement as well. I am 34 so I think a lot of people looked at my waistline and wondered. Lol, I just joked w everyone that it was not a shotgun wedding.
Advice for a short engagement? Figure out your 5 “must haves” and focus on those priorities.
**Keep it small. Just remember, the large the guest list, the more of everything you will need. And the more it will cost. And the more time it will take to organize.
**Make a wedding gmail account. Use google docs and sheets like it’s your job. Lifesaver! Give your Fiance access so he is in the know as well!
**Agree on a budget. And assume you’ll go over by 10%. Then add another 10% contingency.
**Pick an all inclusive venue. #1. Cannot stress this enough. Find a venue that has catering in house, and has the chairs/linens/etc, and includes set up & clean up. A DIY venue where you have to source the liquor, bartender, rentals, and food is going to drive you mad. Because you’ll also be managing a florist, photog, makeup, hair *and* bridal party, relatives. (Tip: we found that hotels, country clubs and restaurants were most inclusive and museums and venues were least! Many museum and venues required you to have a DOC for liability purposes!)
**Make wedding planning a couples project. You’ll need a helpful Fiance to pull this off in 3 months. If he’s not willingly helpful, you need to sit down and ask him to step up. Divide and conquer, delegate things to him that aren’t your priority and be ok with his decisions (my Fiance was in charge of DJ, Photobooth, Minimoon and Favors). I am highly organized had corporate event planning experience so a wedding was in my wheelhouse but still, I couldn’t have done it without Darling Husband. We made wedding planning kind of like a couples hobby. Putting together invitations was a fun night, we had wine & made a little assembly line. And registering was a pseudo date night (although I totally suggest doing it online bc you can read reviews!). Vendor appointments we followed with going out to dinner to discuss and review.
**Pick common standard colors. Red, navy blue, cream, gold, black, silver, etc. Don’t go with a rose gold or blush or saffron or whatever – you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to find things in those specific shades. We went with black & whites with silver accents. (Tip – yellow gold is way more popular than silver, everything was gold!)
**Don’t go overboard with DIY décor, in the end it’s just not worth it! I read so many articles, guests care about food, open bar & comfort. They don’t care about rustic chalkboard signage or mason jars or burlap runners, lol.
**Be OK with a rack or sample dress. This is unfortunate b/c I think it’s a sham. They say dresses need a 6 month lead time, so you’ll need to go to places with samples or rack dresses. BHLDN is very boho, David’s Bridal, etc. Other options are formal dress stores, in the south, think pageant dress shops. If you are in or near NYC, I can wholeheartedly suggest Forever Together in Great Neck. They were able to search their system for new dresses in stock in my size, including Mori Lees and Justin Alexanders and Wtoos. I ended up going w a sample bc it was only 1 size too big and easily altered.
**Expect to miss out on some of the “pre-wedding” festivities. I didn’t do a shower b/c we had 3 months, and I was ok with that. I made it clear up front that it wasn’t looking for a bachelorette. Fortunately, my dress was in NYC which is where all my friends live and I had to go up for a fitting a month before, they threw me a very intimate girls weekend in the Hamptons to coincide w my fitting.
**Have a small wedding party. Honestly, if you are throwing a wedding in 3 months, you don’t want to spend time picking out brides maids dresses and dealing w the inevitable drama. Also consider if all your bridesmaids have the time and resources to dedicate to a last minute wedding.
**Day of Coordinator. It you can’t swing this, make sure your venue has someone that is willing to act like your day of. Seriously, do not put mom or sis or cousin in charge of this.