How to Plan a Wedding in Five Months or Less!
Wedding planning is a very exciting time! Although the average booking cycle is 12 to 18 months, your needs might be different and you'll want to wed sooner. Read on for some tips on how to plan a wedding in five months or less.
1) Decide Must-Haves
Now that the wedding industry has grown so rapidly in recent years, planning for one can be somewhat overwhelming. Although new trends are popping up all the time, it’s important to realize you’re only one person—and not every fabulous idea is one you’ll want to pursue.
One advantage to a shorter planning period is that there’s less likelihood you’ll change ideas midstream. Deciding early on your “must-haves” is a great place to start.
2) Get Organized
To enure no detail is overlooked, create a bridal planning binder to gather ideas and checklists in one place. You can also sign up for an electronic version at The Knot or similar websites. Having everything in one place will not only help you stay organized, it’ll also keep you aware of details you might otherwise miss, such as boutonnieres, ceremony music, the rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, and more!
3) Book Your Venue First
Once you've reserved your venue, you can then start planning the rest of the day. Because your planning period is shorter than some, it can be helpful to select a venue that offers all-inclusive packages.
For example, a golf course or country club venue offers food preparation and service, tables, chairs, linens, set up, staffing, and someone to aid in the event organization. Because these venues host several events like this, they'll also help guide you through the planning process by offering suggestions and answering questions, thereby greatly reducing the amount of work you’ll need to do.
4) Choose Attire
Because the right bridal gown can take some time to pick out—and alterations are often needed—it’s a good idea to order yours as soon as possible. Make sure to allow six weeks for the dress to ship to a local store, if need be.
At the same time, you should also start reviewing bridesmaid, groom, and groomsmen attire. Although they won’t take as long as your gown to come in, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to choose a style and color best suited to your ceremony—as well as any accessories you want to accompany them.
5) Book Vendors
One advantage to planning a wedding in five months is that any available vendors will clamor for your business, putting you in a great position to negotiate. Make sure you meet with a few in each category to compare, and the ones you’ll most likely need are a photographer, DJ/and or emcee, florist, wedding officiate, and hair and make-up artist.
Plan ahead and bring pictures and ideas to meetings—and don’t be afraid request references, samples, or portfolios. Inform them of your budget, and see if they’re able to offer a customized package within your parameters.
6) Define your Style
Images taken from magazines and the web are a great place to start brainstorming your wedding’s overall style. Helpful websites are The Knot, WeddingWire, Pinterest, and Google Images. Combine several images you like in each category and add them to your bridal binder; vendors can take favorite aspects of each idea and create exactly what you’re looking for. Soon enough, you’ll start to hone in on a style unique to you and your fiancé!
7) Designate Helpers
If your budget doesn't allow for a wedding coordinator, it’s important to delegate responsibilities so the day goes off without a hitch. Start with members of your bridal party—they can help put together your favors and decorations. Throw a cocktail party to make it fun and invite the groomsmen, too; this will also help your bridal party to get to know each other better.
For much-needed assistance on the big day, assign close friends and family members various tasks, such as manning the entrance table; setting out place cards, favors, custom champagne and cutlery sets, and the guestbook; and most importantly, coordinating with vendors to make sure all is set up as planned. Chances are they’ll not only be glad to help, they’ll have fun doing it!