How Long Does It Take To Plan A Wedding?

by mihgasper

Before the final 'I do', some kind of planning should be done. How long does it take for such demanding task? Is one year really a standard?

Planning a wedding can be exhausting but also exciting experience in one's life. With all the elements to consider, it is often compared with stage production and while we all aim at perfection it is rarely achieved. Time, available for finding everything needed for a wedding, is always one of the crucial factors.

So how long really takes to plan one's wedding? Is 12 to 18 months truly necessary, or can we accelerate the process? Can we set the stage in half of recommended time? Maybe even in three months or less? What about couple of weeks?

Let's check what we can do in different amounts of time!

*** All used images from ***

Necessary Steps To Make

1. You have to set a date, make a guest list and choose a venue. If your date is flexible, you will obviously have more choices at everything else. Depending from the venue, there might be need to arrange transportation and staying for your guests. You also need to set a budget as soon as possible. Again: higher the budget, more choices you have.

 2. You need to send save-the-dates, which should be followed by invitations. It is up to you what kind of additional wedding stationary you will use. With larger reception, many out of town guests, destination wedding, or more complicated wedding program there will be more things to think about (for instance table cards or maps), so try to use the time you have as effectively as you can.

3. Even at most casual weddings you will still very likely determine your wedding party, choose gowns and buy rings. You will also need a caterer, photographer, musicians (or DJ) and florist. All these people can be booked in advance for months, so be fast or ready to use a backup.

You can do everything by yourself, hire a professional planner, or break the plan into smaller parts and delegate them to friends and relatives. All these choices will have certain financial and other consequences, so think twice before you decide which one is best for you.

Your wedding planning will be done:

With 9 - 12 Months Available

You can do everything by the book. You have plenty of options to research, than to book the ceremony and reception venues. You can send save the date cards, find appropriate attires, meet with several photographers, caterers, florists, entertainers and other people among which you will choose a winning team. Don't forget to register for gifts.

About six months before the big day buy wedding gifts, order wedding stationary and take care about accessories like shoes, ties, veil. Decide about honeymoon.

When you have just three months to go, it's time to hire a calligrapher, mail invitations, take care of transportation and organize rehearsal dinner. It's also time for wedding shower and buying gifts for members of the wedding party. Don't forget the cake!

In last month confirm arrangements with wedding vendors, throw stag and hen parties and buy wedding favors. It's time for call the guests, who didn't respond to invitations.

Last week is time to make final confirmations, check the dress, get hair and nails done, make a seating list and send it to managers of venues. Last calls and confirmations.

Then just enjoy in your big day!


Just 3-6 Months

While this time frame looks much tighter, it's absolutely doable if you are willing to make few compromises. The biggest issue is getting the venue, because the most popular ones will probably be already taken. Maybe you could still get the place, but have to settle on Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday. Anyway there is still plenty of time to improvise and get a very special place tailored to your needs. you can actually save some money on the way.

Next problem might be with people. Some of your guest may have obligations on the date of your wedding and you might not have so many options at choosing the vendors. If you don't have too specific expectations, this should be no problem, because competition is high and you just need to rely on some recommendations.

Don't hesitate with stationary, dresses, jewelry and accessories. You still want to have enough time to change things if something doesn't fit.

In last month you should be at the same pace like somebody who had full year or more of planning.

What About Wedding In Two Months Or Less?

Be ready to improvise. Have certain options open when you are choosing a date, venue and vendors. When all these click, settle the legal issues. You still can set up a registry, but you need to spread the word fast. Use the power of internet. Save-the-dates might be out of the question and majority of communication should be made at the speed of light, but classic wedding invitations can still be mailed.Humor is essential at planing on short notice

Just follow them with phone calls just few days after. Number of your guests is still crucial factor at everything else - from number of meals and seating chart to number of wedding favors (which, by the way, are not necessary at all). Try to go casual, you'll save a lot of time and possibly the money as well. forget the small stuff, focus on big ones.

Get your dress and have always backup plan in mind if something will not pan out as expected. some issues will probably occur, but this happens at so huge projects all the time, no matter if you have years, months or only weeks for preparations. Don't forget the rings! Delegate tasks like calling around to people you trust or hire a professional.

The most important tip on planning the whole wedding in short time - stay cool and never loose the sense of humor.


Wedding can be organized in few days only
Wedding can be organized in few days only

Can You Do It In Two Weeks?

Sure you can! You can make it in one week, if you are willing to skip some blows and whistles. You actually need just Mr. and Mrs Right, nice place to celebrate, wedding rings (which may be already in the family or borrowed or whatever) and bunch of friends to enjoy with. Yes, you still need and officiant, so your planning should start with him or her. Make sure all the paperwork is properly done, because wedding is not only about partying, it has legal consequences.

Use the power of social media, be prepared to have plenty of phone calls and delegate tasks if possible, try to focus on the ceremony and reception only. It doesn't matter if your wedding dress is not new (according to old saying you need only something new).

Top tip: keep your guest list small.

Your next question would probably be: Can I have a wedding in less than 48 hours?

Yes, this is possible, but not in all the states. Some have a law about waiting period, which varies from zero to six days. And in Florida, for instance, you need to complete a marriage preparation course before you can legally marry.

Here is a more in-depth article on that subject:

On the other hand in Las Vegas you just have to come in person and have some kind of identity card.

But before you marry on such short notice, please think a bit. Are you really really sure you want to do it?

If the answer is yes, go for it and all the best!

Updated: 10/13/2015, mihgasper
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How much time did you spend on your wedding?

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mihgasper on 12/28/2015

Thank you, paulgreene, for your comment. Wish you all the best on you journey!

mihgasper on 11/19/2015

You are right, CarleyClagg, with right attitude even miracles happen. Thanks for your comment!

CarleyClagg on 11/14/2015

I had my wedding planned in two weeks :) We got a nice venue that usually has to be booked a year in advance in a stroke of luck, my local grocery store gave my free roses and my aunt's mother's floral shop did as well and helped arrange them. We had all the decor planned and dresses and suits, it was wonderful! The military can make getting married tricky with time windows, but I think if you put your all into anything and have great people behind you, anything is possible!

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