You’ve probably noticed that all the wedding planners online start at 12-18 months to plan. This can be quite overwhelming when you don’t have that much time to plan your own wedding. But, we are here to tell you, that it IS possible to plan a wedding in 6 months or less. We have helped plan several weddings in less than the “normal” time frame, and they turned out absolutely perfect. We are planning our own wedding with pretty much the same timeline, (even though we’ll have been engaged for a year and a half, come wedding day and have had lots of time…we only started really planning around the 6 month mark.)
If you have 6 months or less to plan your wedding, read on to see how you can plan your perfect wedding and not be stressed the entire time. And, be sure to celebrate your new engagement status with some of these fun Engagement Boxes!
Can a wedding be planned in 6 months?
YES!! You can definitely plan an awesome wedding in 6 months! (And even less time if need be.) There are things you may have to sacrifice on a little when it comes to a tight planning schedule, but if you are flexible, you can definitely plan a beautiful wedding. Just because you have a limited number of months to plan a wedding, when most wedding planners start at a year plus, doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want. But it can mean that you might not be able to have the vendors you want.
How can I plan my wedding fast?
We think the best way to plan your wedding fast, is to get started now, and start checking off your list. First and foremost, you’ll want to figure out the following as soon as possible:
-Type of Wedding
We personally set our Wedding Guest List and Wedding Budget first, as this was the one thing we did not want to budge on. Depending on how many were on our guest list, would determine how we spent our budget. If you have a guest list of 100 people, and only have a couple thousand dollars for your budget, then that can help determine the Type of wedding you may want to have. Example…instead of a dinner reception, you may opt for a cake reception after lunch.
More Reading: Who to Invite to Your Wedding.
After you have these 3 things planned out, it will be much easier to plan the rest of your list.
TIP: Go ahead and use your favorite Wedding Planner, and just adjust the time frame to your 6 months or whatever time you have.
What is the first thing you do when planning a wedding?
After you have your Wedding Budget, Guest List, and Wedding Vision planned out, it’s time to start the real planning.
This is the part where you may have to be flexible with who is available. Many vendors (and especially venues) book out a year or two before the event. So, if you’re planning your wedding in less than 6 months, just know you should be open minded and not have your heart set on one specific vendor.
TIP: If you happen to have one vendor you just cannot have your wedding without, start with them, and figure out if they have any available dates around your time frame. Then you can plan around having them available for your wedding. This will basically set your wedding date for you.
-Find and Book Your Wedding and Reception Venue
We recommend finding your venue first. This will answer so many of your questions for you, including which vendors you will need to bring in, and which vendors will be included in your venue package.
-Set Your Date
You may not have your choice of the first date you want if all of your vendors are booked for that day. If you absolutely must get married on a specific day, it is definitely possible, you will just have to be that much more flexible when choosing your vendors. If you just have an idea of the month you want to get married in, it will be easier to have things fall into place.
After you have set your date and have your venue, you will want to give all your guests enough time to plan to come to your wedding…especially if they are coming from out of town. With a timeline of less than 6 months till your wedding, you will probably be skipping your Save the Dates, but we recommend sending your invites just a bit earlier than normal then. Invites are typically sent around the 3 month mark, but if you haven’t done Save the Dates, and your guests don’t know the date, we would recommend sending at least 4 months in advance.
Before you send your Invitations, you may want to set up your:
Your wedding website is for more information for your guests, and can also be the place where they RSVP rather than having them send back an RSVP in the mail.
You may want to add your Wedding Registry on your invitation as well, so you would want to have that set up so your guests can find it on the invitation.
TIP: We recommend joining Wedding Groups on Facebook and searching for local vendors you can hire. You can also send out a post asking if any specific vendor is available on your date. This can help make the process faster as well.
Depending on your venue, you may be able to or choose to bring in your own caterer. You Venue may have a “Preferred Vendor List” that you can go off of to make this easier. If you are like us, we found an Outdoor Wedding Venue in Southern California that allowed us to bring in whatever vendors we wanted, so we were able to choose from basically everyone.
-Photographer and Videographer
When looking for your photographer and/or Videographer, you will want to send an inquiry to see if they are available, while you are asking for their packages/pricing. You can quickly eliminate the options that are not available.
Be sure to book your Band and or DJ and any entertainment you want at your wedding as well. These tend to book quickly, so start your research, and reach out in Facebook groups as well, if you need help.
-Day of Coordinator
If you have the funds to get a Wedding Coordinator from the beginning, then do that. It can save you lots of stress to have a professional making sure you are doing everything you need within your timeline. If you are excited to plan your own wedding, go ahead and do your thing, but we HIGHLY recommend you book a Day of Coordinator. (Some venues will actually require it.) Your Day of Coordinator will allow you to be the bride, and not worry about anything the day of the wedding. They will make sure everything runs smoothly, and we think they are essential to a great day!
If you are wanting to hire a florist for your wedding, be sure to book early as well. Especially if the florist is going to set up your wedding. We found DIY flowers to be so much more affordable, so we went with Sam’s Club Flowers and had them all sent directly to us just days before the wedding.
Without your officiant, you can’t legally get married, so book one soon. If you have a home pastor from your church, you can ask if they are available, or you can find one online. You can also ask a close friend or family member to perform the service, but they will need to get their license online, so give them plenty of time to do so.
If you have a specific idea for your cake, you’ll probably want a professional baker. Unless you have a family member or friend who can make it. Your Cake should be fairly easy to find, but make sure you ask the bakery how far in advance you should order your cake from them.
TIP: We absolutely love Sam’s Club Cakes, and they do beautiful tiered wedding cakes for super cheap too! You can always add cupcakes or sheet cake if you need more than the cake serves as well.
Again, depending on your venue and what they provide, you may need to hire a rental company. Rental companies can bring in:
-Arch for the Ceremony
Depending on how much time you have for your wedding will determine where you can get your dress. Several wedding designers take anywhere from 3-9 months to order your dress. Don’t be afraid to buy “off the rack”. You can find great deals at bridal shops, or trunk shows as well. And there are several Facebook groups where brides are selling their dresses as well. Here are some of our Tips for Finding Your Wedding Dress.
-Wedding Veil and Accessories
One of our favorite tips is to buy your veil on Amazon! You are almost guaranteed to get it in on time, since its Amazon, and they are sooo cheap there too. You will save tons of money than if you bought it from a bridal store. We have an awesome post of real brides who wore Amazon Wedding Veils for Cheap!
The Groom’s Attire is actually probably one of the easier ones to get, since you can go to almost any tux rental shop, and have your tux within a week. However, you should choose the style and color, so you can plan your Bridal Attire. (Your Bridesmaid Dresses will probably take much longer than the groomsmen.)
-Bridal Party Attire
There are several ways you can do your bridesmaid dresses. If you have a specific dress you want all of your Bridesmaids to be wearing, you will want to set an appointment ASAP to get your girls fitted and the dresses ordered. Bridesmaid dresses don’t typically take as long as a wedding dress, but be sure to ask the shop how long you need to order them to get them in on time. If you are pressed for time, you can always go the Amazon route, get different dresses that are in the same color, or even ask your bridesmaids to find their own dresses according to your color.
Once you have all of the above figured out, you can probably jump in a normal wedding planning timeline and finish up all your details. You’ll want to make sure you remember all the additional details including:
-Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Attire and Accessories (flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow)
-Cake Cutting Utensils
-Send Off (Bubbles, Sparklers, etc.)
-Song Lists (First Dance Song, Father/Daughter Dance, etc.)
-Place to Stay the Night
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Planning a Wedding in Less Than 6 Months
So yes, it is definitely possible to plan a wedding in less than 6 months. And you don’t have to be a stressed basket case the whole time. Just remember to write your list, and start checking things off as soon as you can. You may have to compromise on some vendors, your venue, or your date, but at the end of the day, you will be marrying your best friend and starting your life together…and that’s what it’s all about!
If you are newly engaged, check out our post about the very first thing you should do when you get engaged!
Don’t forget to save this page, so you can check back on each step while you’re working on it and see all of our tips!
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.