Bridal Club Magazine
Time Crunch: How to (Quickly!) Plan a Wedding
Although many brides and grooms take up to a year and a half to
organize their weddings, other couples want to make it snappy. "I'm
getting more calls from brides who would like to get married in a
couple of months," says event planner Julie Pryor
of Pryor Events in Los Angeles.
There are plenty of reasons for having a wedding in a hurry-from
a job change or military deployment to just plain eagerness to tie
the knot. Here, some pros' tips to ensure that even with
fast-and-furious planning, your wedding goes off without a
1. Make the first month
Wedding timelines usually start a year before the big day. So
what's a bride to do when she's just six months out (or less)?
"First, set your budget and make all your
major decisions and purchases," recommends Christine Paul
of Christine Paul Events in New York
"That means booking your ceremony and reception sites,
purchasing or ordering your gown and the bridesmaids' dresses,
hiring a photographer and deciding on the honeymoon."
You'll also want to sit down with your fiancé and set your
priorities. For example, your top three might be great jazz music,
authentic Italian food and a first-rate photographer. "Once you've
done all that, you'll be right on track with brides who've been at
it for months," says Paul.
Tip: Enlist the help of your friends. Give
them jobs they'll feel comfortable doing, like managing the RSVP
list. You'll be glad you did.
2. Be flexible and
You may find that some of your first choices aren't available. For
example, many popular wedding locations are reserved a year in
advance. So learn to be flexible; a fabulous venue could be a place
you haven't yet imagined. "Instead of the more obvious choices,
perhaps a friend has a beautiful beach house, or you could get
married in a local park," says Paul.
Open your mind to different dates and times as well. Sometimes
it's much easier to find and secure a place for a Friday or
Sunday - or earlier in the day. The better able you are to
come up with creative alternatives, the happier you'll be with the
3. Ask for help.
Event planners may be hired to do the entire wedding, or simply to
handle a few tasks you can't fit in or even just to manage things
on the big day itself. Researching
vendors to learn who's right for the job is time
consuming, and a good wedding planner with a network of reliable
vendors can figure out the logistics quickly and easily.
4. Enjoy yourself!
Remember to take time to soak it all in. Sure, you'll be in a
hurry, but taste-testing dishes and listening to bands is still
fun. Luckily, you're already on top of this. "Brides who've gotten
their weddings together in six months or less have told me they
actually enjoyed the process," says Paul. "They had less time to
stress out and found the preparations surprisingly exciting."
5. But will it cost more?
In many cases, you'll receive the same treatment - and fees - as
any other bride. In other words, giving shorter notice to vendors
and other service providers doesn't mean you'll be getting a higher
fee. And, says Debi Lilly of A Perfect
Event in Chicago, "Don't assume you should refrain from
negotiating prices just because you're on a short timetable.
Negotiate whenever and wherever it seems reasonable."
Although there shouldn't be rush fees for booking your venue,
your band, your florist or most other vendors, Lilly notes, "You
can expect to pay extra for hurrying your and your bridesmaids'
gowns and maybe the invitations or favors." So try to make quick,
smart decisions. You really don't have time to be fickle about the
colors of your bridesmaids' dresses or about whether to have roses
or white orchids for your bouquet. Chances are, you won't regret
your choices - especially when you find you've eliminated
costly "rush" fees.