Plan A Wedding In Three Months Or Less

Today, we have the pleasure of featuring guest blogger, Anne Margaux. Anne is involved in all the wedding things and is a proper wedding guru! She works for Wedding Prep Gals, an online retailer of beautiful, embroidered bridesmaids and bridal robes. Keep scrolling for her tips and tricks for planning a wedding on a short timeline!

Unsplash from annie gray

Unsplash from annie gray

Sometimes, a long engagement isn't possible. It could be due to military obligations, work related events, religious reasons or a couple just very excited to start married life! Because of that, planning a wedding with a short timeline requires careful planning, as well as a lot of support and a little bit of resourcefulness.

The average wedding takes at least a year of preparation. Vendors, especially the major ones, have many events to prepare for and some may already be booked up (which can honestly help simplify the decision making process). Just keep in mind, you may need to reach out to more people to find a vendor with availability, but try not to get defeated when you hear your date is booked. Keep reading for some tips and tricks on preparing for a wedding that’s taking place in three months or less.

The Bare Necessities

First of all, think of the most essential details of the wedding. Pick the date of your wedding and the venue for the ceremony and reception. It will be easier to find available dates if you opt for a Friday or Sunday wedding. A weekday wedding would make booking your preferred vendors so much easier. Set a budget and timeline of wedding activities, and create a checklist to help you keep track of everything.

As for the venues, you can choose areas near where you live, or you can even have the wedding at your home, if you have enough space. If you have a problem finding a venue, you can hire a wedding planner who can help you scout for a location.

Book your officiant right away too. If you have friends or colleagues who are judges, justices of the peace, or ordained ministers and they can legally officiate a wedding, ask them to be your officiant. Get your marriage license as well. Buy your wedding rings as soon as you can so that you won’t have problems in getting them resized or engraved.

As soon as you have determined who will be included in your wedding party, you may ask them and your family to assist you in the preparations. Delegate tasks to them so that things get done faster. 

Wardrobe

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Ordering a wedding dress takes at least six months, which is why Brilliant Bridal is an especially great option for brides on a short timeline. All of their designer bridal gowns sell off-the-rack so you can take it home the same day you say yes to the dress. Bridal alterations usually take 6 to 8 weeks so if you find your dress early in the planning process you shouldn't have to pay any rush fees on your gown alterations.

When it comes to hair and makeup, look for stylists who can do both, and try to set consultations as soon as possible so you can start with your trial sessions. Help your stylist out by coming prepared with pictures of hair and makeup looks you love.

Invites, Reception, and Other Details

Send your invites right away so you can determine the headcount as early as possible. If local printers are unavailable, you can design the wedding invites yourself, using any number of online resources. If you’re the type who enjoys taking on DIY projects, making the invites, the decorations, and the wedding favors can help save the wedding budget, but be prepared to make a significant time investment.

For reception food, ask your favorite local restaurant if they offer catering services, or if you prefer, you can host the reception at a restaurant where the food can be served buffet-style. If no one can accommodate such a short timeline, then ask family and friends to do a potluck. Keep the menu simple and they will be so happy to be able to pitch in! For your wedding cake, consider the bakery department in a local grocery store. They can often do beautiful (and delicious!) designs with short notice.

For your bouquet, ask your florist to use blooms that are in season. They will be easy to acquire quickly and are often more cost effective. 

Entertainment during the reception may not necessarily require hiring a DJ or a band. You can create your own playlist and play it on your phone or your laptop, as long as you can connect the device to reliable speakers.

Saying Thanks

Don’t forget to thank everyone who helped in the wedding. Your bridal party, especially, will be busy helping you, and treating them to a nice gift is a small way to show your appreciation. A personalized item like a custom-made robe is one way of showing your gratitude. Not only is it unique, but it is also a practical choice because it is something they can use before and even after the wedding.

Reminders

Even if you only have a short time to prepare, you can still pull off the wedding of your dreams. You just have to know the right things and people to help you make all the planning happen. In all of the business of wedding planning make sure to remember why you're doing this, to get married! Take time to prioritize your relationship which is what will last well beyond the wedding flowers and cake.

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Top 5 Ways To Relieve Wedding Stress

Wedding planning is not for the faint of heart. Weddings are elaborate events that require precision, attention to detail and patience, lots of patience! And the great majority of you won't hire a wedding planner, which means all of that patience and logistical work is coming from you and your partner. No wonder you're stressed! 

From trying to keep your budget to all the questions you're being asked, you're probably even more stressed than you had anticipated! To help you tackle your stress, we've compiled our favorite stress relievers from tips on staying organized to budget friendly date night ideas and everywhere in between. Just remember you are in total control over how you react to all the stressors that come your way. You've got this wedding planning thing, girl! 

Stay organized

Planning a wedding involves so many details, as we're sure you're quickly finding out! Your ability to keep track of all these details is going to significantly impact your stress levels. Lucky for you, there are numerous checklists, budget trackers and virtual wedding registries to help you stay organized! Of course, if shuffling all of those details is not something you're into or you simply don't have the time, hire a wedding planner coordinate all of the specifics. If you're having trouble hiring someone just to offset your stress, wedding planners are fantastic at helping you stick to your budget and get the most for your money. Additionally, they can often get vendor discounts since they are repeat customers where couples are not. 

Delegate, delegate, delegate

Planning you and your fiancé's wedding day is not solely your job. You may have thought about this day for awhile now and even have a Pinterest board devoted to it, but that doesn't mean you can't ask friends and family for help! If you have envelopes to address or bows to tie onto favors, get them involved and take a few things off your own plate. When it comes to your vendors, you are only responsible for explaining your vision (use pictures and swatches to really help them see), and of course, make sure you hire GOOD vendors! If you've hired good ones, then there will be no reason to micromanage them. Just let them do the job you've hired them for and trust them to do what they said they would. 

Eat yummy superfoods

We know developing a meal plan is the last thing on your to do list, so we've linked a few stress-fighting snacks with recipes linked and superfoods listed! Some of these superfoods work with your body to naturally release feel-good chemicals that directly combats stress hormones, to give you the chillest vibes. While, others help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels to keep you from crashing! 

Toasted Oats: oatmeal + berries + flax seed

Sweet & Salty Trail Mix: dark chocolate + cashews + dried blueberries + pumpkin seeds

Turkey Avocado Salad: turkey breast + leafy greens + avocado                                   

Move your body  

But really it's that simple. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you're doing something. It can be as simple as doing squats while you're cooking dinner or taking the stairs at work. Maybe you could even join a workout class or start taking your dog for a jog, whatever matches with your lifestyle best. As long as you are moving your body, you will reap the benefits of natural endorphins to keep those prewedding stressors at bay!

Spend some QT with your cutie

Your relationship shouldn't take a back burner to your wedding, so make sure to plan a few romantic dates during the process. Do things that you and your partner enjoy, maybe attend a sporting event, explore a new area of the city or hike a new trail. If you feel like your wedding budget has taken over your date night fund, google free things to do in your city or try out a new workout class together (usually it's cheaper, if not free for first timers). Whatever you end up doing just remember to continue pouring into your partner and spend quality time together and to love them well.

 

When the pressure of wedding planning gets to be too much remember the big picture. The wedding you're planning is to celebrate the start of you and your fiancé's marriage! It's a wonderful thing to celebrate, but the most important thing is planning your marriage. Even more important than cake flavors and guest lists and what gifts to put on your registry is planning the day after the honeymoon and beyond.

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10 Ways to Save On Your Wedding!

If you've been following our blog recently, you'll notice that we LOVE helping our brides save money when planning their weddings. It may be a slight obsession of ours. You can't blame us for loving to be budget savvy! Not only can you save on your wedding dress by shopping at any of our 5 locations, but we've put together 10 other ways to save on your wedding below! 

1. Digital Invitations 

With postage at an all time high, save yourself a few bucks and send digital invitations versus mailing physical invitations. There are plenty of websites like Greenvelope or Paperless Post  that will allow you to design beautiful & modern wedding invitations and send them for a fraction of the cost of snail mail! Not only are you going to save $$, but you'll save yourself some time, a few less paper cuts and the digital invites are also eco-friendly. Sounds like a win to us! 

2. Food Trucks 

A typical catering buffet menu can run you anywhere from $30-60 per person. With an average guest count of 120, you're going to be spending $3,600++ on feeding your guests at a minimum! Ditch the typical wedding food fare and opt for a modern Food Truck! The beauty of hiring a food truck for your special day is not only saving you $$, but the menu can be customized to fit your wants and the food will be cooked fresh and on site. No hot boxed food here! 

3. Faux Florals 

Another expensive wedding cost will be your flowers. If you're going for a Pinterest Wedding, your floral bill is going to start at $3,000. Do you know how many round trip flights to Mexico that could get you!? We'd rather spend our money elsewhere (can you tell we have the beach on our minds?). You can create paper flowers on your own or check out companies like The Bride's Bouquet or The Flower Craft Shop via Etsy. 

 

4. Sunday is the new Saturday 

Most venues offer a lower rate for hosting your wedding on an 'off peak' day or season! Some of our couples even throw tradition out the door and get married on a weekday. If your family and friends love you, they'll make it to your wedding no matter what! Look into alternative dates or summer pricing with your vendors. It never hurts to ask! 

5. Brunch Wedding - Did someone say Bacon? 

If you & your hubby are dead-set on a Saturday date, try a Brunch wedding! Not only will the venue rental be less expensive, but you'll also save on food & drink. Breakfast foods like pancakes, fresh fruit, muffins and bacon are much more economical that serving your guests a heavy buffet dinner. You can serve mimosas or bellinis and a signature drink and ditch the costly beer & wine! 

6. Fake the Cake 

Wedding cake, that is! Some bakers will create a faux cake with styrofoam and fondant icing and will provide you with a sheet cake to serve for your guests. You can also request that the bottom layer be real cake, so that you can take part in the ceremonial cutting of the cake. 

7. Ditch the Hard Liquor

Having an open bar can seriously drive up the cost of your wedding! Instead of hosting a full liquor bar, create a signature drink that you and your fiance love! You can even do a his & hers, or his & his, or hers & hers - you get it ;) - drink to show off your favorite cocktails. If you're having troubles selecting a cool cocktail, check out our previous posts with recipes & ingredients here. 

8. Ordain A Friend

The typical cost of hiring an officiant can range from $150 - $300 or more. Instead of spending a few hundred bucks to hire a random person who you've only had about an hour of face time with, you can have a friend get ordained as an officiant online for FREE! Check out the American Marriage Ministries for more information. 

9. Use Signage 

Instead of printing menu cards, escort cards or wedding programs, use a large chalk sign or printed poster to display important information! Most of the cards listed above are typically tossed after the wedding anyways. You can reuse the chalk board sign for dinner parties or even future baby announcements! 

10. Honey Fund

One of the most overlooked items of planning weddings is the honeymoon! After months of planning stress and anxiety, you'll NEED a vacation with just you & your hubs to relax and decompress. If you haven't already worked your honeymoon into your budget, don't fret! In leiu of favors, you can create a honeyfund account, or even place this cool sign at your gift table. Guests will definitely pull out their wallet if they see this ;) 

 

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