Tips for Planning A Short Engagement

A little backstory for you guys. I got engaged on June 4, 2015 and was happily married by October 16, 2015… Yes you read that right only FOUR MONTHS! Here are a couple tips I learned along the way.

Download Printable Version HERE: PrintableChecklist

6 Months

  • Announce Engagement- Whether it’s a clever social media post or a phone call, let the people know you’re engaged!
  • Choose Venue & Date- Venues are usually booked months in advanced so this is important to get done as soon as possible. With a short engagement it’s good to keep an open mind when picking a date. I got married on a Friday!

*Note the venue I chose was a life saver for my short engagement- a stock room full of decor, speakers, silverware, drink ware, plates, chairs, lights, you name it they had it. May have been a little more pricey but totally worth it.

  • Book Photographer- Much like the Venue photographers are booked months in advanced so do your research and call them asap.
  • Book Caterer- Again caterers are booked months in advanced so it’s a good idea to get ahead here. The great thing is on the first phone call you don’t have to know exactly how many people just a rough estimation.
  • Choose Wedding Party- Get your gals and guys together! Ask them in a cute way or just talk to them over dinner more than likely they knew the moment you were engaged they were going to be a part of your big day #BFFS

5 Months

  • Buy Wedding Gown- Who knew a dress could take months to arrive and when it does arrive a couple of more weeks to alter it. So get your group together and try on some dresses!
  • Order Bridesmaid Gowns- Much like the wedding dress these things take time to order and alter. It’s not a bad idea to just go ahead and pick these out the day you purchase your wedding dress.
  • Book Florist- You may be “DIY-ing” this one – but either way get an idea of what flowers will be in season and what you want your bouquets, boutonnieres, center pieces, etc to look like.
  • Book Wedding Cake- Find a local baker or bakery and show them samples of what you want your cake to look like, if they offer different flavors be sure to take the time to taste test them. Don’t forget your wedding cake topper!

4 Months

  • Start Guest List- Figure out who you want to invite to your wedding day. I had a rule that if I haven’t spoke to them in the past 4 months they weren’t invited.
  • Find Addresses for Guest- This comes a long with starting your guest list. It’s harder than you think finding addresses for people – some I googled, some I just messaged and said ‘Hey what’s your address”, and others I just handed out.
  • Figure Out Any DIY Projects- Saw a cute centerpiece on Pinterest that you fell in love with? Get to work on it. Buy your supplies or get one of your bridesmaids to help you out on this. The sooner the better!
  • Plan Rehearsal Dinner- If your into traditions this would be the Mother of the Grooms job but you still have to help the lady out. Tell her what type of food, if you want it casual, formal, etc.

3 Months

  • Order Extras- Want a cute personalized guest book? Wedding Favors? Bride and Groom signs? Order them now. I found everything I wanted via Etsy.com
  • Plan Honeymoon- Book that honeymoon! Do your research find the perfect get-away destination and book that baby!

*We ended up going on a totally unplanned road-trip which was a total blast!

  • Order Groomsmen Attire- The men’s tuxes or whatever you end up doing is a little more laid back than the women’s. So get those men styling and profilin!

*I rented tuxes from menswarehouse.com supereasy for our groomsmen that lived out of town.

  • Register for Gifts- Get that wedding registry together! No you don’t have to walk around aimlessly in a store with a scanner. Most retail stores have the option where you can do it online! (target.com, walmart.com, bedbathandbeyond.com)

*I did all mine from the comfort of my couch which made it seem less of a hassle because I could take my time and change my mind as many times as I wanted.

2 Months

  • Send out Invitations- Get those bad boys in the mailbox. I live in a small town so I handed a lot of mine out which saved on postage.
  • Book Hair Dresser- Book your hair dresser for your wedding date. Let her know whose hair she will be doing that day and what time the wedding is.

*I’ve gone to the same hairdresser for years.. she did my hair, my mothers, and mother-in-laws. I let all my bridesmaids do their own hair. As far as make up I did my own as well as everyone else did. (Saved money)

  • Final Dress Fitting- By now your dress has arrived and will need to be fitted again after alterations. Don’t forget your shoes!
  • Attend Wedding Shower- Sit back and enjoy your event. Wedding showers can happen anytime but 2 months is a good timeline for these festivities.
  • Start DIY Projects- You know those supplies and ideas you gathered a couple of months ago? Start and finish those bad boys!

1 Month

  • Figure Final Guest Count- Hopefully you have gotten your RSVP’s by now and can start getting a final count of the number of guest that will be attending. Let your caterer and venue know the final count.

*Seriously who sends those pesky RSVP cards back? I had an email account set up and on my invitations had printed “Email us if you’re coming” so much easier than mailing back a card!

  • Confirm Time and Date with Vendors- Make sure your vendors know what time they need to be there and where.
  • Get Marriage License- Go to your local courthouse with your birth certificate, driver’s license, social security number, and proof of residence in hand.
  • Pick Out Music- Whoa what? Yes pick out the songs you want during the whole sha-bang! That means the music your wedding the parents walk down to, the wedding party walks down the aisle to, the song you want to walk down to, the exit song, your first dance song, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, and any music you want playing at your reception!

2 Weeks

  • Figure Out Hair and Make Up Style- Pinterest is a great resource. Send your hairdresser some pics before the big day of some of the styles you like.
  • Cut/Color Hair- Speaking of hair, get those roots covered up, get your grooms hair cut, your hair cut, whatever else hair situations you have now is the time to get them taken care of.
  • Pick up Groomsmen Attire- If you’re like me and rented your tuxes now is the time to pick them up. Remind your groomsmen to run by the store or pick them up for them.
  • Whiten Teeth- Photos, photos everywhere in every direction. Make sure that smile is pearly white and ready to shine. I’ve always just used Crest White Strips.
  • Steam Dress- Your dress at this point has been in a bag for a little while hiding from your groom in some closet. Get it out and make sure it’s wrinkle free.

1 Day

  • Manicure/Pedicure- TREAT YO’SELF. Seriously relax and get your nails done because you know those ring pictures are coming.
  • Enjoy Rehearsal Dinner- Go through the motions of the big day, eat some food, and enjoy time spent with friends and family.
  • Get Packed for The Big Day- Spend your evening making sure you have what you want for tomorrow. (Rings, accessories, dress, shoes, make-up, etc)
  • RELAX- You’ve made it tomorrow is the day, enjoy the evening whatever you end up doing.

Wedding Day

  • Drink Water- Stay hydrated!
  • Eat Something- This is easier said then done. You’re feeling all these emotions and the last thing you want to do is eat but EAT!
  • Hair/Makeup- Get glammed up!
  • Finalize Decorations- Before slipping into your dress walk to your ceremony area/reception area and make sure everything is where you want it.
  • Enjoy the Day- Take time to enjoy it. It flies by so quickly, slow down, and really enjoy the moments happening.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh just looking at this list is taking me back! lol. I got engaged on New Years day 2015. The cool thing is that Hubby and I actually got married two months later on February 27th, but we didn’t really tell anyone (unless they asked or hung out around us a lot) and we planned our wedding for May 16th. So, in all technicality, we did our wedding in five months (even though we were already married). Honestly though, I don’t even think we struggled with the planning or the technical stuff. It was more the judge-y family members and “whose wedding is it anyway?” and what not. I definitely don’t miss any of that, lol. But it’s crazy nowadays to see people engaged for *years* and I’m like my husband and I struggled with just our few months! I love that you broke it down, though, and highlighted ALL of the fine details about wedding planning that they don’t show in the movies! Honestly, though, it’s six months out of the rest of your lives together. Once Hubby and I realized that, even the tough parts of wedding planning weren’t so tough anymore. #WifeLife

    1. Thank you for the comment and congrats on your two year wedding anniversary (1st & almost 2nd)! I think that the biggest stigma with my short engagement was everyone thought I was pregnant – I mean why else would two young people get married so quick not because they love each other or anything right??? LOL in all seriousness we didn’t see the point in waiting that long we both knew we wanted to get married so we did! 🙂 But my brother has been engaged for almost a year and will be getting married this October so what doesn’t work for some works for others! 🙂

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