My husband and I got engaged on a hot July evening after a year and a half of dating. We knew for a while that we would get married, so we were ready to go when we finally made it official. Having known we would get engaged sometime over the summer, we’d been planning together to get married that autumn. A super short engagement seemed totally possible to us from the beginning, but everyone else was not as convinced.
I still remember the panic on my mom’s face when we announced our wedding would be in September. This panic on our behalf continued as we started confirming our plans with others. “September, 14 months from now, right?” was something we began hearing a lot. Responding “no, September, 2 months from now” usually led to some fun reactions, but everything came together perfectly and we never once wished we had taken more time to plan our wedding.
Planning the wedding of your dreams in 2 months or less is definitely possible. Here are some tips that might help it seem more possible for you:
1. You may already have more planned than you realize.
Come on, you’ve more than likely had a wedding themed Pinterest board since long before you even met the love of your life. If you are anything like me, your wedding pins got more specific as you and your future spouse got more serious, so start out by going through the ideas you already have. You might discover that you’ve already made some of the important decisions!
As I mentioned before, my now-husband and I knew for a while that we were going to get married soon so I’d begun compiling some ideas of what we wanted our big day to look like. This certainly helped with our quick planning timeline as we found ourselves simply setting ideas we already had into motion.
2. Develop a clear vision early and stick with it.
You got engaged and picked a date that’s 2 months away. Now what?
When I’ve been asked how we planned our wedding in such a short amount of time, the thing I point to over and over again is how we had to make a decision and stick to it. When you have a short window of time to pull everything together, you simply don’t have time to change your mind.
As someone who has a history of overthinking decisions I’ve made and changing my mind after the fact, this was another reason having 2 months to plan our wedding was the best decision for me. I didn’t have time to overthink things and change my mind repeatedly.
3. Take advantage of wedding planning resources.
Whether you simply get a cute notebook or a full on wedding planning binder, find something right away that you can use to keep track of details such as prices or bridesmaid dress styles, different options as you explore, and decisions you make as you go. There are tons of online resources to help you browse ideas, plan your wedding, and explore vendors. Forever Bride is a great resource as you start exploring vendors, honeymoon destinations, dance lessons, rehearsal dinner venues, or anything related to your big day.
A wedding coordinator is another great resource, especially if your day is going to involve some logistical challenges (it’s likely going to) such as getting people from one place to another at a very specific time, being accessible to vendors for last minute needs, or making sure the church gets cleaned up perfectly before Sunday morning services. Wedding coordinators are people who love weddings and want to make sure your wedding is everything you dreamed of. They know to ask you about things you’d never think of and know what is realistic. A wedding coordinator can be a great resource, especially when you are pulling off a wedding in 2 months!
4. Be realistic with your plans.
Full disclosure: our wedding would probably most accurately have been described as simple. When choosing to plan your wedding in a short time frame, you may have to give up some of the more grandiose ideas you envisioned.
Chances are, you won’t have time to custom design a wedding dress or plant your favorite flowers to be in full bloom all over your garden reception site. Making the choice to plan your wedding quickly can be a bit of a sacrifice, but remembering that you get to be married sooner rather than later makes the sacrifices extremely worthwhile.
Being realistic about what you, anyone helping you, and your vendors can accomplish in the timeframe you have given yourself to plan the wedding will save you a lot of stress and a lot of disappointment when some things just simply can’t be done that fast.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I will be the first to tell you that I’d rather work on something myself than with others. I have a tendency to have the tendency to want to control things and had to learn quickly to give those tendencies up in regards to my wedding.
On one hand, you can definitely justify wanting to be in control of making sure everything turns out perfectly for your special day, but it will turn you into someone you probably don’t want to be. I believe the term is “bridezilla.” On the other hand, you simply cannot do everything yourself, especially when you have a short engagement. “Do it yourself” quickly becomes “do it with the help of anyone you can find who is willing.”
On that note…
6. Trust the people you ask to help.
If you are going to ask people to help you with your wedding, and you should, trust them to do what you ask! Whether it’s helping with a handmade décor project, cutting the cake at the reception, or making sure something or someone gets from point A to point B on your big day, don’t waste energy stressing over whether they will follow through or not. Most people feel honored to be asked to be part of such an important event and will feel a bit of pressure to not mess it up. If you aren’t sure that you can trust them, don’t ask for their help. That’s not the sort of thing you need to be stressing over when planning your special event.
This goes for vendors as well. When choosing a vendor, make sure it’s one with a trustworthy reputation. You’re going to invest money into them in hopes they follow through with the role you ask them to play in your wedding, so spend some time making sure they are a business you feel confident will do that. Forever Bride offers a great list of vendors that is the perfect place to start looking for reputable businesses to help your big day go off without a hitch.
My family and my husband’s family were responsible for moving a bunch of décor from the church to our reception site and setting up the reception after our wedding ceremony. Our reception was outside so there were some things that couldn’t be done until right before the reception started. While this was happening, my new husband and I were out with our photographer. I honestly couldn’t tell you if everything was exactly where I’d laid it out perfectly on the (several) charts I made and gone over several times with my mom before wedding day, or even if everything actually made it to the reception site. I could have spent that time between the ceremony and reception stressing about whether everything was getting done as I’d envisioned, but I was much happier to have spent it focused on my new husband and getting some great pictures as a freshly married couple while trusting the people I’d asked to help set up the reception.
7. Don’t get too wrapped up in the small details.
As I mentioned, to this day I cannot tell you if every detail I’d planned for the wedding venue or reception site went as I’d planned. The important detail was that my husband and I got married.
When you are in the middle of wedding planning and have invested so much time and energy into making decision after decision it’s hard to imagine that you honestly won’t care about most of it when the day comes. However, wedding day is about one thing – getting married – and there’s an extremely good chance that all the details won’t work out exactly like you hoped. You can choose to let this ruin your day or you can choose ahead of time to not get too emotionally invested in every tiny detail. As someone who chose the latter, I can tell you it’s absolutely okay if the candles on your guest book table don’t get lit before the ceremony because I still got married to my favorite person of all time regardless.
When I look back on the season of my life that was wedding planning, I am so glad we made the decision to keep it short. Planning a wedding in two months or less can seem really overwhelming, but following these tips will hopefully make it seem more possible for you. And remember – the shorter the engagement, the sooner you get to be married to the love of your life!
photography // Kara Olson Photography