Wedding planning can easily turn into months of obsessing over the dress, the venue, the flowers, the cake… However, it is possible to avoid all wedding stress and plan the whole thing in a short period of time, let’s say a month. Feeling stressed already? Key to doing this is well thought-out planning and…….asking for help! Yes, you’ve heard it well and we cannot stress this enough. If you are on a time schedule do not shy away from asking friends, family and neighbours to lend a hand. In general, people will be happy to help. But first things first, let’s get the to-do list started!

Administrative steps

Before you get carried away dreaming about dresses and cakes, think practical, think about the necessary paperwork. Get all the papers together and book a wedding date. Once this is covered you can start thinking about the day.

The bare essentials and most important three:
Budget, Guest list, Style



The Budget

How do you picture the day and when answering this question, try to be as realistic as possible by adding “given the time and budget”! A reception will take a big chip out of your overall budget and the difference between cozy, classy or cocktail can be important. Decide on what suits your expectations as well as what you are willing to spend. Wedding costs can vary but on average will be between £5000 and £20000, all inclusive. Again, it is up to you to set the limits of your own spending so sit down and think this through.

The Guest List

Another big financial influencer is of course the guest list. It costs more to invite more so keep that in mind when you are talking budget. Given the short frame of time, your guest list can be smaller than expected; many might already have plans for the month to come.

You could of course send out a quick email to invite your guests but we think a personal invitation is still the best way to go. However there will not be time for a bespoke, tailored invitation. Not to worry! That does not mean that you cannot have beautiful invitations. Go for a general invite that suits your style and make it your own by adding a special text, poem or photo. If the service is quick you can have invitations ready and sent within a week!

Food, drinks & Venue

Inviting a small amount of guests can also help you in deciding on other important aspects such as a caterer or even a suitable venue. Food wise, if you are really limited in time and the venue allows it, why not ask people to help you out? Have a couple of friends and family members cook in a given theme, let them prepare their or your favourite dishes, or take it to the next level and have all guests bring a little something. Not only will this help you in limiting the wedding pressure and cut down the spending, it also is a great way of getting loved ones involved and enjoying the fruits of combined labour! Remember, time is not on your side so you cannot afford being too picky. As for venues, the most popular venues will probably be taken, especially for a Saturday evening. Call them anyway and ask for a Friday or Sunday. Also, try to think outside the standard venues and look for restaurants with enough room that can be sectioned off. If you happen to have to space for it, consider hosting the reception in your backyard.

Decoration

Keep the decoration simple and elegant and try not to get carried away by doing too many things yourself. Pick a colour or theme to coordinate your deco and a couple of “high-light” decorations such as big paper lanterns; inexpensive but effective! Add a couple of nice bouquets and voilà!

Dressing up

Getting a suit or dress tailored requires a lot of fitting time that you unfortunately do not have. There are other options. Have a look at retail shops that also do bridal fashion. Don’t know how to choose your wedding dress? Have a look here! Be realistic about the budget though and try to find what suits your wallet and style. Same thing goes of course for the suit or tux. Many known retailers offer great looking and on-trend choices against affordable prices.

Pick your bridal party and tell them in what style or colour you expect them to have their pick. Let them then look for something suitable. It will make their choice a whole lot easier and your weekend a lot less stressful. Besides, this allows each one of them to add a personal touch. Guys can also rent tuxes and go for personalizing them with matching bow-ties, ties, or socks.

If you are on a budget but do not feel comfortable in doing your own hair and make-up you might know someone who can help you out like a handy friend or sister. Again, time is a tricky point but if you happen to have a suitable hairdresser/make-up artist on call, book them ASAP for a trial run.

Photographer/videographer

Trust us, time seems to go faster the day of your wedding! Photos and videos will help you remember it so much better and we definitely suggest including this. However, professional photographers and videographers can be booked months in advance so either opt for a pro that fits into your budget, time frame and style or ask around for friends and family with photography or camera experience.

Tip: get a certain number of disposable cameras and put them on the tables with a little “how to-instruction” for guests to use freely!

Music

You probably won’t have time to track them down and hear them play live but do listen to some recent demos of your band options. Nothing beats live music at a wedding ceremony and reception but stay realistic and consider either hiring a DJ or doing the music yourself! Music sets the tone for an occasion and you can pull it off with some help and planning! How? Well even a play-list can do with some last-minute tweaking or guest-requests so look for a music monitor, AKA a tech-savvy friend to be in charge of La Musica. If you are lucky you will know people who can provide you with speakers, if not hire them. Consider different styles of music to keep all guests happy, not just those born in the 80’s and hit the dance floor! Overall, think about what is most important to you. Spend a bit more time on that and maybe a little less on other aspects. Realize that you cannot be too picky given the time and that the most important thing is that you are getting married to the man or woman of your dreams so ENJOY!