Top 6 Things to Accomplish When Planning a Quick Wedding (plus a free checklist!)

We've already discussed the ins and outs of planning a wedding in six months or less (and hopefully you've even snagged our free wedding planning checklist, which is custom-tailored to fit the timeline of a short engagement). Now it's time to take things one step further (and about 15 times faster).  

Listed in order from call-the-day-you-get-engaged to give-yourself-a-week-and-hop-to-it, here are six standout To-Dos that deserve special attention. Just remember: The shorter your engagement, the higher these items should rise on your priority list. And if you’re really tempting fate—as in, you’re trying to plan a wedding in two weeks or less—then adhere to this list and forget everything else. Except your fiancé, of course.

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1. The Guest List

With your fiancé, decide how many people you’d like to invite to your wedding, plan on about 70 percent of those people showing up, and commence with list-making. A word to the wise bride: Do not delay. So many things stem from the guest list. Namely, more lists. Think engagement parties, bridal showers, invitation orders, catering estimates, chair rentals…the list (see?) goes on.

2. Ceremony and Reception Locations

This should happen so fast it should be like a reflex. Get engaged, book your venues. Breathing can happen later.

3. Caterer

When on a tight schedule, it’s helpful to look for reception locations that provide in-house catering. Two birds, one stone—you know how the saying goes.

4. Wedding Gown

Read closely: A bride who will be engaged for six months or less does not have time to try on 300+ dresses like her girlfriend who had an 18-month engagement, or those women toting binders full of magazine clippings on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. It generally takes six months for a gown to arrive. Know what you like. Place an order. Prepare to pay a rush fee. Then stop perusing Pinterest. No, seriously. Stop right now. 

5. Invitations

Save the Date cards, formal invitation suites…as soon as the all-important master guest list has been made, get them ordered. Even if you choose to order online from a website like Minted or Wedding Planning Divas, it will take a few weeks for your invitations to arrive in the mail. Next, you’ll have to address, assemble, stamp, and send them a minimum of 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date. Note: If the aforementioned two-week scenario is your reality, stick to emailed invitations. Period.

6. Photographer + Videographer

You spent so much time on all the little details. Don’t you want them permanently documented? If your answer is “yes,” keep in mind that most professional photographers require deposits 90 days 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 12 months in advance. All the professionals have their calendars full? Proposition a friend with a fancy Nikon or kickin’ Instagram feed, ask for assistance and pray for the best. Something’s better than nothing, right?

Want a little more guidance? Click the button below to download our complete checklist for planning a wedding in six months or less!

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