Planning a wedding in six months wasn’t the easiest task but it was the best decision for Jeff and I. We are so glad that we did it, we still talk about how happy we are that we decided to only be engaged for a short time.
Jeff and I met in college and dated for over 6 years. When Jeff moved to Ann Arbor last January we had been talking about our future and pretty much knew that we wanted to get married fairly soon.
Jeff proposed on March 29, 2016 and we knew right away we wanted to get married as soon as possible. With me moving and finding a new job we didn’t want to drag the process out. We were so happy to be engaged and couldn’t wait to start our life together.
Some overall words of advice when trying to plan a wedding in 6 months or a shorter time frame:
1. Be open. When we got engaged and decided to get married in 6 months I let go of a lot of my “dream wedding” ideas. By doing this I was able to be much more open to the options available to me, instead of trying to find something that fit my perfect wedding image. Odds are if you are planning a wedding with a shorter time frame, you are going to have fewer options.
2. Focus on why you are getting married. Remember what this day is all about. It is about you and your fiance committing your lives to each other and as long as that happens everything else is just details. We focused on that and the celebration with our family and friends. This helped us avoid a lot of stress and headaches. If you keep your priorities in line you will have a lot less stress when things inevitably don’t work out exactly the way you want them to.
3. Be organized. Google docs is your friend—Jeff and I kept all of our planning in google docs which was a huge time saver. We were able to access our information wherever we were. This helped minimize stress and keep our plans organized.
4. Don’t compare. I know everyone says “don’t compare yourself to others” and that is easier said than done, but really if you can do this you will be so much better off. Remember what this day is about and what it symbolizes; celebrate with your family and friends and get off pinterest. Sometimes dream weddings are just that…. dreams. Do what’s realistic for you and let everything else go!
So this brings me to the actual planning process. I’ve broken it down by steps of ultimate importance. This is rather lengthy so be prepared!
- Decide on your budget! Whether you are funding the wedding, your families are, or it’s a combination of both–decide on a budget for the wedding. This will shape all of the decisions you make. Respect the budget and stick with it. Your wedding is an amazing day but nothing is worth going into debt over or creating stress/burdens for yourself or your family.
- Pick your date(s) – Sit down with family and your fiance and figure out what month/time of year you want to get married. Try to find 3-4 weekends that would work for your wedding.
- Plan out your guest list. This by no means has to be the ultimate list that you use to invite people but try to list all of the family and friends that you would like to invite. Don’t skip this step!! This will help narrow down your search for venues.
- Venue hunt! Contact every place that remotely looks interesting and that is within your budget. Find out what their availability is for the weekends you are looking at.
- Visit the venues! Go see the ones that really interest you and are available for your wedding.
- Select a venue and a date! Sometimes you just have to choose one, no place is perfect but your day will be perfect because the people you love will be there. Our venue was not our first choice. We were in love with a different location but it could not accommodate all of our guests. We decided it was more important to us to have everyone there that we loved and we are so glad we did. I ended up loving our venue even though at first I was a little hesitant.
- Contact Officiant
- Contact vendors- photographer, florist, caterer (if needed), DJ, videographer, hair/makeup, etc. Once you have your date you can really get rolling on booking all of these important people! I used theknot.com to read reviews and select vendors.
- Find your dress! I would recommend booking an appointment during a week day if you can. Shops are a lot less busy and are more able to accommodate you. I was the only bride in the salon when I went and was able to try on 15+ dresses.
- Ask your bridal party to be in the wedding! Try to find a heartfelt way to ask these special people to stand by your side. You don’t have to do anything over the top, a hand written card will go a long way.
- Finalize the guest list. Go through this with both of your families, make sure no one is left off. Settle on a number that feels comfortable and will fit within your budget
- Order save the dates! Jeff and I did not have time to take engagement photos and then order save the dates. We find some great non-photo save the dates on minted.com!
- Address save the dates and mail them out
- Begin thinking about rehearsal dinner. Brainstorm list of venues
- Book all your vendors-get this done, you will feel so much better!
- Schedule engagement photo session
- Schedule taste testings
- Decide on bridal party attire
- Block out hotel rooms for guests
- Order wedding invitations- for our RSVP card we hadn’t decided exactly on entrees yet because we had not had our tastings yet. We just stuck with generic food choices on the response card that we knew we would select (beef & chicken)
- Register for gifts!
- Research honeymoon
- Send Wedding Invitations
- Taste test food-select your menu
- Book your honeymoon
- Book rehearsal dinner location
- Select your music
- Select decor and flowers
- Dress alterations
- Plan wedding favors
- Order details stuff-programs, menus, place cards, guest book, etc.
- Create seating chart
- Print place cards with table number and menu selection
- Put together favors
- Make your wedding weekend timeline and share with bridal party, family, vendors, etc.
- Put together welcome bags for hotel
- Purchase gift for your groom
- Write cards to family
- Pick up your dress
- Get married!!!!
If you read all of that, hats off to you! I did my best to go through the steps that I took. I hope you found the list helpful and informative!
Think of anything I missed? I would love to hear about your planning process and how you planned your wedding day 🙂