It's officially engagement season, y'all!
With that said, I don't need a crystal ball to tell you exactly what your future holds: Soon and very soon your Instagram feed will be filled with freshly bedazzled fingers wrapped around "Future Mrs." coffee mugs. Just trust me on this.
Expecting a proposal of your own in the near future, and already have your heart set on planning your wedding in 6 months or less? Congratulations in advance—and that's a decision we COMPLETELY support around these parts! Take the first 48 hours or so to soak it all in, answer the 287 congratulatory calls that are bound to blow up your phone, and take as many ring selfies as possible. After that, though, it's time to get a move on and dive headfirst into the wedding planning process. So without further ado, let's break down the first steps a speedy bride-to-be should take right after getting engaged!
The First Steps You Should Take After Getting Engaged to Plan Your Wedding in Six Months or Less
Step One: Create a guest list
I know this probably seems like a weird place to start, and that it would be a lot more fun to dive headfirst into a pile of tulle while gown hunting at the nearest bridal boutique. But in order to plan your wedding in six months or less you're going to need to make a lot of important decisions really fast, and almost all of those decisions will require knowing how many people are attending your wedding. Do your friends want to throw you an engagement party or bridal shower? You need a guest list. Is it time to order Save the Dates? You need a guest list. Want to book a venue with the proper capacity? You need a guest list. Horrified by the idea of your mashed potato bar running low during the reception?
I think you already know where this is going, but...you need a guest list.
Step Two: Set the date
Helpful hint: You'll be less limited in terms of vendors and venue availability if you select a non-typical day of the week for your wedding (basically anything other than Saturday night).
Step Three: Research venues (and book them fast)
If you're hoping to say "I do" in six months or less, it's important to keep your wedding plans as streamlined as possible. Selecting a venue that allows you to have both your ceremony and reception on the same property isn't mandatory, but it is a great way to save on time and stress. Major bonus points if the venue provides in-house catering!
Step Four: Find the wedding gown of your dreams (as quickly as possible)
Moment of honesty: I didn't know exactly when or how Taylor was going to propose, but I did know that it was coming. And so, yeah. I tried on a few wedding dresses before I even got engaged (and made my mom loan me her wedding band for the day so that the salespeople wouldn't ignore and/or judge me, #lol). In my defense, I figured that we were going to want a short engagement and that I wouldn't have a ton of time to find a dress once the ring was on my finger—and I was right. But I'm happy to report that, thanks in part to my advance research, post-proposal I was able to find my dream dress in just 24 hours!
My point: Enjoy the gown-shopping process, but don't let it become so all-consuming that it puts a halt to the rest of your planning process. Know what you like. Place an order. Prepare to pay a rush fee to ensure that your gown arrives in six months or less. Then stop perusing Pinterest. (Seriously. Dress Doubt is the worst.)
Step Five: Order and send your Save the Dates
As soon as the all-important master guest list has been made and the date has been set, get them ordered. Since etiquette dictates that formal invitations should be sent a minimum of 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date, a bride planning a wedding in six months or less should send Save the Dates out the door as quickly as possible after getting engaged!
Step Six: Build your vendor list
Start with your photographer and videographer, as most professionals in these fields will require deposits well in advance of your wedding date. Additionally, photographers who are in high-demand have been known to accept a limited number of gigs each year with bookings confirmed up to a year in advance. Other important calls to make: wedding planner and/or designer, florist, baker, rental company, lighting/audio, DJ/entertainment, hair and makeup artist, caterer, officiant.
Short Engagement Conversations: The First 6 Steps You Should Take RIGHT After Getting Engaged!
Want to go even MORE in-depth on this subject? Check out our vlog below!
Want a little more guidance? Click the button below to download our complete checklist for planning a wedding in 6 months or less, or snag our complete 6-month wedding planning guide here, available as an eBook and in print!