Getting married in nine months, six months, even less? While the average wedding planning spans 12 to 18 months, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a fabulous wedding in less time! Here are some tips to planning your wedding within the year.
First things, first. Book the big vendors as soon as you can. Once you have these arranged, it will allow the rest of the planning details to fall into place.
Find your venue
Waste no time in finding your venue. While it may seem that every venue is booked on short notice, that’s not actually true. If you are willing to be somewhat flexible with your date, many vendors have holes in their booking calendar and would love to fill it! Venues may offer specials deals for bookings within the year.
Found your perfect venue but the date isn’t available? Consider a Friday, Sunday or even a weekday –these days are typically less expensive.
Book your photographer/videographer
In addition to venues, photographers and videographers often offer specials trying to fill in their yearly calendar.
Consider your caterer
When choosing a caterer, consider these options:
Choosing a full-service caterer is a wise choice for planning same year weddings. Some offer planners who can assist with timelines, floor plans and rentals (glassware, linens and décor). This level of support and guidance can be extremely important when planning on a short timeframe.
Consider choosing a venue/exclusive caterer combination. Some venues prefer exclusive caterers and for good reason—they intimately know the space and work closely with the venue representative to provide thoughtful service.
Do your research and consider the size of the catering company. Larger catering companies can execute multiple events on the same day meaning they are more likely to accommodate your event needs even when booked on short notice. Often, these companies can offer a wide array of dinner styles—plated, buffet and family style.
If you have a particular DJ or band in mind, book as soon as you can! Choosing great music service is essential to a fun and inviting reception. Don’t let this element of your special day be an afterthought.
As you plan your wedding, there are ways to keep your timeline from getting the best of you!
Use a planning tool
Start off on the right foot and consider an all-inclusive wedding planning tool that does it all including wedding website, customizable checklist and registry. This will help you manage your time and budget. Plus, you can easily register for anything: cash, gifts, experiences from one place.
Don’t get overwhelmed with inspiration
While it’s tempting to scour Instagram, Pinterest and wedding websites for hours on end, it can also make you feel burnt out. Before you begin to consider various themes, venues, options (you’ll be making a lot of choices!), make a short list of priorities or must-haves.
For example, if you’ve always envisioned an outdoor wedding or a small intimate wedding, start with that focus and go from there. If you have a semblance of vision, you can save a lot of time and stress by not considering every option under the sun. Additionally, people will have a lot of opinions and ideas. The more confident you feel in your choices, the easier it will be to say yes or no as you plan.
Make decisions quickly
One of the many benefits of planning a wedding on a shorter timeline is that it forces you and your partner to be decisive. By giving yourself fewer options (read above) and sticking to your choices, you can streamline the planning process. Your time is valuable. For example, when selecting photographers, know and consider only those in your budget. View their galleries. If you love their work, contact a few at a time until your dates align. Don’t second guess your choice and exhaust all options.
Cut out the clutter
Another benefit of short-term planning is that you don’t have time to add unnecessary items to your wedding. More time gives you more opportunity to think you need more than you do. Keep it simple.
Most couples have never planned an event of this size or importance. So, it’s silly to think that you should know how to plan a wedding.
If it’s in your budget, hire a planner. He/she can take off a huge amount of stress, especially on a short timeline. If a planner isn’t an option, look at your circle of family and friends. Who throws amazing parties? Who had an amazing wedding of their own? Who is organized? Whose style do you love? As someone who loves to entertain, he/she would certainly love to give you sage advice. The key is to listen.
Vibrant Table Catering and Events is a leader in event innovation, providing award-winning catering, venue management, floral and décor and event production. Our culinary style is inventive, diverse and event inspired.