Brides today are breaking tradition faster than their mothers can say, “Something Borrowed, Something Blue!” The modern bride generally does not have the time or desire to spend months, or even years, planning a wedding. Rapid approaching deployments, pending promotions, or just a ticking biological clock can be factors in the decision to plan a wedding in a short time. For those brides who are planning a wedding in 30 days or less, it might seem like mission impossible. If you are throwing together a last minute ceremony to tie the knot, here are 10 steps to plan a wedding in 30 days that you might find helpful.
1. Set the Budget
Before you so much as buy a bridal magazine, you need to know your budget. Find out of there is a wedding fund set aside for you by your parents and if so, what is the amount. If the wedding expenses are your responsibility, know what you can afford and where the money will come from. Avoid using credit cards and pay cash for services as much as possible. Simple weddings can be beautiful and not leave you crying after your honeymoon once the bills start rolling in.
2. Choose a Location
Choosing a location should be a priority before finding your dress or asking friends to be bridesmaids. Wedding venues get booked months in advance, so start making phone calls ASAP! For less expensive options, book your wedding for a weekday since weekends are prime time for these venues and generally cost more to rent.
3. Set the Date
Once you have your location, set a date. You might want to wait until you can verify the venue before telling everyone the big date though! You might need to adjust it to accommodate the location‘s availability.
4. Find Guest Accommodations
If you plan on out-of-town guests coming you need to inquire into some lodging options for them. Whenever possible, check out the accommodations yourself rather than relying on internet photos. Ask about group booking discounts as many hotels will accommodate your guests at a lower price. Look for hotels that offer breakfast and/or a hotel restaurant so that guests may have an in-house options for food.
5. Plan the Reception
Check the wedding location to see if reception hall locations are available. Many reception halls require that you use their caterer. Know the rules before you book. Some reception halls do not allow candles, smoking, or DJ’s. These are things you need to know before you sign any kind of contract! Select your menu staying within the means of your budget. Remember the time of day dictates whether you can serve light refreshments or need a full meal.
6. Order Invitations
After you have your wedding site and reception location reserved you are ready to order your invitations. You will need to overnight these if you want to get them mailed out in time! A better (and cheaper) option might be to make a photo invitation using a local one hour photo place. You can print photo postcards with the invitation printed in beautiful calligraphy and pay as little as ten cent per invitation!
7. Find Wedding Attire
The most important element of the wedding is always the dress. Don’t wait until the last second to find your wedding gown. Most formal dresses need alterations so try to select your gown at least 3 weeks in advance to give your seamstress time to make any needed adjustments. Once you have your gown, you also need to find dresses for your bridesmaids and tuxes for all the guys.
8. Book Your Photographer
If you are wanting to display your bridal portrait at the reception you need to schedule photos to be taken as soon as you have your dress in hand. Check with area photographers and see if you can get a discount for booking a package at the last minute. If all else fails, get a friend with a good digital camera to help.
9. Pick out Flowers
Ordering your flowers early can ensure getting what you want at the best price. Ask for them to be delivered to your wedding location the morning of your wedding. If you are working on a small budget or run out of time, hit a florist the morning of your wedding and just buy a couple dozen roses. Bridesmaids can carry single roses and small buds can be used as boutonnières. Get a dozen roses in complementary color for your bridal bouquet.
10. Plan Your Honeymoon
The best part of the wedding is the honeymoon following the ceremony. Calling a travel agent to book your honeymoon can ensure you are treated like royalty while you are away. For less expensive vacation options consider finding a relative or close friend with a vacation rental that you can borrow.
Getting married is an exciting time in your life and planning your wedding should be fun. These 10 steps to plan a wedding in 30 days will help you navigate the important aspects of planning without feeling overwhelmed. Just because you are short on time doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your dreams of a Cinderella wedding. Stay organized and stick to your budget and your wedding will be all you ever dreamed of! What is your best advice for last minute brides?
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