07 August 2014

Planning a wedding in less than six months

Some time in early June a couple of our dear friends got engaged, and this is fabulous, of course. After some thinking and changing of plans, they have decided to move the wedding from next August to this December - right between Christmas and New Year.

Now, some of you will say - "oh that's nice".

But some of you will think "Are they mad? That's less than 6 months!!"

But, y'know what? It's ok. 
If you really want to speed it up, it's perfectly possible, with a bit of know how on planning.

I have this thing about organisation. I am very good at it. Our friends don't need that help as they are already pretty set, but it gave me an idea to write a little bit about it. 

And these are my tips.

1. Budget talk

How much money do you have that can be spent on this? Taking out a loan should be the last thing you consider as the repayments aren't the best memory of a wedding. Don't start thinking about weddings you've been to, especially if they were the ones planned way in advance. This is about YOU TWO and you are unique. You do not need to spend thousands to have a wedding of your dreams.

1.1 Enlisting help from people around you

My friends love my baking skills. I have agreed to create cute little cupcakes to go with their vintage theme. They even knew which flavours, as I made them this cake a while ago - I'll just need to adapt it a little.
Can someone bake you a cake you love? You can normally get them decorated professionally if you so wish - or simply have them looking gorgeous and homemade.
Is there someone who can arrange your flowers? You do not need to order a special "Wedding" bouquet. Buy some flowers even from the local supermarket and trim and tie and create your own. Add some beads, feathers, ribbon, fabric, pearls.... options are endless. OR explore the more crafty options.
You get the jist?

1.2 Guests

There is only one rule to this - this is your day. YOU decide who you want to share it with. If you cannot invite everyone, due to budget limitations or space, maybe you can organise a party afterwards for them. Or, invite them to the evening do only. There is no need to feel pressured about inviting someone you don't even speak to just because you invited someone else. This is your wedding. Your memories.

2. Reception venue and date

How about looking at some more...unconventional venues. Restaurants? Clubs? Your grandparent's massive garden? Local farm? There are so many options. And if you are more of a traditionalist, look for the nearby hotels, or - like another couple of friends - go further afield if they will offer a great discount on accommodation of your guests.

A venue can be found online and phone calls can be made to check availability. In this day and age, it should not take you any more than a day to find a few to check out. I would recommend lmiting yourself to 3, for convenience. Take a weekend to yourself and go have a look at them. Then book - most will accept a booking over the phone, once you saw them all and you made your decision.

Also, why not look at alternative days? Keep it right by the weekend, as people will need to take time off work - but Mondays and Fridays are getting increasingly popular due to lower pricing.

3. The photos and entertainment

Photographer? DJ? Band? Again, these days, getting some music for your wedding can be as easy as creating a playlist with your favourite tunes on your phone/laptop/whatever - use things like Spotify, why not? Then have someone acting as a DJ - we all have that one friend...
There are also plenty of bands around on the internet if that's your thing. You may want to consider having the band on just at the beginning for a few hours, rather than a whole night.
Photographers? No need to pay big money. Create an instagram wedding page for guests to share your pictures to, get an arty friend to take the more posed pictures - or even, see if there are any local photography classes or courses at the university/college - student will ask for less if it means they build their portfolio of work. Be very precise as to what you want and you could even create a Pinterest board for them to see what kind of thing you like.

4. Stationary

In my humble opinion - if you have a printer and a couple of hours time, you can create something amazing. Go to Etsy and browse for printable wedding stationary. For a few pounds/dollars you will be able to find something you can pay for - customise - download in a matter of hours and if you do not want to spend too much on paper and ink, use an online printing service.
Go to something like Printed.com

5. The all important - suits, dresses, jewellery

In terms of suits, depending on your wedding theme and style, there are plenty of options. For more relaxed themes, opt for something more casual. For keeping up with the tradition, go to the usual shops - in UK Next, BHS, Debenhams and the rest all have some fantastic offers that won'd break the bank.
Jewellery. There is probably already an engagement ring on that finger, and you'd probably like to match it. Again, Etsy is full of gorgeous non-expensive options. Try Ebay too, given enough time, overseas shipping sometimes is the better option. Just remember to go and get your measurements first.

And ---- the dress. Of course.
Vintage shops, Ebay, Sample sales, Local seamstress............. options are endless. You can find a local seamstress who will be able to create one for you. Bring some samples, show the Pintrest board... my sister in law had her crafty neighbour create one. And all she had to do is find the materials - measurements were advised by the lady that made it.
There are also wedding fairs, usually several in a year so chances are you may be able to find a dress on sale - remember, you can always customise.
Or - go to the vintage shops and find something in the right colour for you - who says it needs to be white and long?! You're the one wearing it!

And keep your mind open - customisation doesn't need to be expensive or difficult and let's be honest, you can probably do something yourself.

And - Google is your friend. Pinterest is a must. Keep a record of your spending and spend wisely. Shop around. Take note of any shipping dates on online orders. Think outside the box. Delegate responsibilities - you two do NOT have to do everything. Your friends and family will be happy to help too.

And most importantly - relax. There's enough time.

What are your planning tips? Have you had any experiences of speedy wedding planning? Please leave some comments below. If you have any questions, it is more than likely there will be someone on here with an answer!

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