No really, it is possible.
Whether you can’t wait to say I DO, you have a short time frame for family reasons, you’re moving abroad, you have work commitments, marriage visa limitations or you’re expecting a new addition to the family, many couples are planning their big day in less a month. You can plan not only a great wedding, but your dream wedding in 30 days if you follow these simple tips.
So, get planning!
Check out the legalities of getting married.
Whether you are getting married at home or in an exotic far flung destination, different states and countries will have different legal requirements.
Some countries require you to get a marriage license, whilst others have residency requirements or require your Intent to Marry to be registered with a Celebrant up to a month before the wedding date. You may even have to provide a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage.
You will need a legally qualified person to officiate the marriage under the countries Marriage Act and you will probably need witnesses. Your Celebrant or Officiant will be able to assist you with the legal requirements or marriage license.
If you are eloping, make some enquiries with the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country in which you wish to marry to ensure that you check off all of the legal requirements.
So, before you set a date, ensure you have covered the legal requirements of getting married so that your wedding is legal.
Set a budget.
Be realistic. How much you can really afford to spend on your wedding? Consider what is most important to you. Is it about the two of you committing to each other in a beautiful simple ceremony? Do you want to elope? Do you want a big reception or would an intimate dinner with family and friends be perfect? How many guests do you want to invite? If you have a huge guest list, consider an elegant cocktail party rather than a sit down dinner.
Once you set your budget, you can work out your guest list and the type of reception that suits you and then allocate funds to the Bridal attire, photographer, videographer, hair and makeup artist, styling, transport, flowers, cake and honeymoon.
Choose a date.
Keep in mind, that you don’t have to get married on Saturday or Sunday which is peak wedding time. Consider a Friday afternoon or weekday evening ceremony. Most wedding service providers are booked out months ahead on the weekend, but probably will not have many bookings on weekdays. Another bonus is that many will also offer you a discount if you get married during the week. So, be flexible as not only will you have your pick of the top wedding services available, but you will more than likely receive a discount!
Choose a location.
Do you want a church or chapel wedding or would you prefer a civil ceremony in a beautiful outdoor location? Perhaps you are happy to get married at the local courthouse or registry office. The location will determine whether you require a Minister, Celebrant, JP or Judge to marry you.
Although many popular reception venues may already be booked out, contact them anyway. If they are not available on a Saturday night, consider a morning wedding with a luncheon, a Sunday, Friday evening or even a weekday.
Consider a local restaurant rather than a hotel or reception venue. You can book out the whole restaurant and have a wonderful intimate reception dinner or cocktail party for a larger number of guests.
Book an Officiant.
Once you have set the date, you need to arrange a legally qualified person to officiate the marriage. You can choose from a member of the clergy, a justice of the peace, a celebrant, a judge or even an ordained friend. It may depend on the location you choose as to who will marry you. Your Officiant will be able to help you with the legal requirements or marriage license. Plan your wedding ceremony with your Officiant. Discuss the wedding service, the vows and readings. Personalise the ceremony to suit you.
Send out the invitations.
As your wedding is not far away you don’t have to send out paper invitations. Consider paperless invites and invite the guests to respond via email. In these days of high technology this is quite acceptable and a much faster way to nail down your guest list. Paperless Post sends invites immediately by email and they have some gorgeous designs to choose from so you don’t have to sacrifice on style.
Decide if you want to accept gifts and set up a Bridal Registry or Wishing Well.
Consider a Wedding Planner.
As you have a lot to organise in a short amount of time, consider a wedding planner. Planners are the experts in their field and can save you time and money. They have the connections and they can offer you the best service providers in the wedding industry. Their experience and contacts can be invaluable. They will also take the stress away from you so that you can relax and enjoy not only the wedding planning but also your big day.
Book your wedding vendors.
Probably the most important part of your wedding are the wedding photos and DVD as these are the memories you have to keep forever. Your wedding day will pass in a blur so it’s important to record the day with professional photography and videography. If you are not using a wedding planner, this may be the most time consuming part of your planning. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do your research and remember Google is your best friend.
Even if you are getting married on a Saturday, contact your preferred suppliers anyway. Don’t assume they are already booked out. If they are not available they may have one of their assistants who can shoot your wedding in the same style that you want.
Book your hair and makeup artist and arrange a trial. A trial is important so that you can let the hairstylist and makeup artist know exactly what you and see the results before your big day. Bring photos of hairstyles and makeup you like. Discuss your dress and accessories and don’t forget to bring your tiara, veil or headpiece to the trial.
Book your wedding transport. Whether you want a formal limousine, classic car or Hummer, do your research and contact the transport companies to see what they have available. Consider asking a friend if you can borrow their pride and joy to get you to the wedding on time. They may be happy to do that for you as a special wedding gift.
At the reception, skip the band or DJ and download your favourite music onto your phone.
As you are short on time, consider ordering a ready made cake from your local baker and top it with a fabulous cake topper. Talk to your local florist and see what flowers are in season.
As your wedding is a short time away, negotiate with the wedding suppliers and ask for a discount.
These tips can save you time and money.
Purchase your wedding attire.
Once you chosen the location, you can decide on the wedding attire that suits. Most Bride’s have always dreamt of their perfect wedding dress, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be made to order. If you are short on time, consider buying a sample or ready to wear gown and having it altered if necessary. Look outside Bridal attire. Your dress doesn’t have to be a Bridal gown. You may find a beautiful formal gown that suits you. Check out consignment stores, vintage shops and online for a bargain.
Give your Bridesmaid’s the option of buying their own dress in your choice of colour. They don’t all have to wear the same dress. Often, that is not very flattering! You can also save big bucks by buying ready to wear dresses at your favourite store rather than buying formal. Your Bridesmaid’s will look and feel great and they can wear the dress again!
The Groom and Groomsmen will have a much easier time of buying or renting a suit. Renting is a quick easy way of getting the boys organised and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
Book your honeymoon.
If you are planning to go away, now is the time to decide on the destination and book your trip, flights and accommodation. Consider booking through a travel agent. They may have some great last minute deals to exotic locations. Alternatively do your research and book everything online which can save you time and money.
You may even consider a short getaway immediately after the wedding and plan your honeymoon at a later date.
If the planning process is all too hard, consider eloping and combine your wedding and honeymoon. These days it is becoming more acceptable to ditch the big traditional wedding at home and elope. It can also be far more cost effective to plan a simple elopement than to have an expensive wedding at home.
Decide on a location and do your research to find an experienced wedding company that specialises in destination weddings. Some destination wedding websites make it so simple you can plan your whole wedding in an hour! Make enquiries, check out their testimonials and reviews and ensure they have great communication and that their terms and conditions are clear. Ask for their advice and check on the legal marriage requirements in that country.
Combining your wedding and honeymoon makes perfect sense for the couple wanting to plan their wedding quickly.
But how do you plan the perfect elopement?