How to Plan a Wedding in 90 Days

Daniel McConahy got this fabulous shot of the first dance
Daniel McConahy got this fabulous shot of the first dance

Yup!  It’s possible.  I know because I did it.  One of my favorite bloggers, Erika Lenzi,  put together this fantastic post about 5 lessons she learned while wedding planning. I found the post to be extremely helpful, and I thought I’d riff on it with my own crazy wedding planning experience.  If you’re recently engaged and want to have your dream wedding, but the date is staring down at you from the other end of 90 days, here are a few helpful hints for planning a wedding at lightning speed.

1.  No Shopping Around, No Changing Your Mind

Invitation
Wedding Invitation by the fabulous Abigail Flaitz.

 

If you find something, TAKE IT!  If you make a decision, STICK TO IT!  There’s no time to compare options or build pros and cons lists.  I only looked at three venues.  I picked the bridesmaids dresses after one afternoon of shopping.  I let my sister design the invitations and did not ask her to change a thing.

2. Simple is Better

See point #1.  Every conversation should go like this – is it a meaningful addition to the wedding that will truly enhance the overall experience of the day for the BRIDE and GROOM?  If not, don’t bother.  Examples of things you do not need:

  • Wedding Cake Topper (we bought one and it never made it to the cake!!)
  • Flower Girl/Ring Bearer (they are so cute, but they can’t drive themselves to the rehearsal so you will be adding two sets of parents to the wedding party)
  • Photo booth/Guest Photos (most guests don’t go far from the dance floor or bar)
  • Ceremony Rehearsal (people know where they are supposed to stand)
  • Exit toss (i.e. rice toss) (there’s just never a good time to make this happen)
  • Anything DIY

3. Choose Your Bridal Party Carefully

Bridal Party
My bridal party at the rehearsal.

 

This can be a life saver, especially on the final wedding day.  Responsible friends will show up when they are supposed to and help everything moving forward when you start going crazy.  My bridal party was awesome and they took care of so many little details on the Big Day!  It would not have been the same without them!

4. Plan to Pay Extra for Professional Services

DJ
DJ Erick Santana kept the dance floor moving all night

 

Don’t try and negotiate with friends in the business or give your best friend’s husband his “big shot” at a wedding photo shoot. Pay full price for professionals that have been doing weddings for years.  They will show up when they are supposed to and tell you what you need to do.  Critical services to pay extra for – the photographer, the videographer, the  DJ, and the officiant.  I would recommend avoiding live music for the ceremony and just hiring one DJ for the day.

5. Hire a Full Service Vendor

Wedding Cake
This gorgeous cake was included in the fee for the venue. Note that all of us forgot to put the cake topper on top!

 

This is a must. By full service, I mean that there should be an Maitre’D or on-sight wedding coordinator, a caterer, a baker, and a bar.  If you have a tight budget, and the cost of a full service venue is scaring you, negotiate a tavern (wine and beer only) open bar, agree to an off-peak day (like Thursday), or cut your guest list in half.

6. Don’t do Save the Dates

This is obvious – why send two sets of mailings out within 45 days of each other?

7. Send the Favors out in the Thank-You Cards

This is a nice way to extend the “wedding” and takes one thing off your plate before the actual day.  Favors that can be mailed out after the wedding in the Thank-You Cards:

  • Printed candid photos of the each guest from the wedding
  • Donation cards (if your favor is a donation to a charity)
  • Small gift cards ($5 Starbucks card, for example)
  • Paper with plantable seeds embedded in the paper
  • Favorite recipe

8. Make the Your Wedding Program Work for You

This included fun facts about the wedding party, fun facts about myself and my husband, and a schedule of events for the day
This included fun facts about the wedding party, fun facts about myself and my husband, and a schedule of events for the day

If you are getting married in 90 days, than many of your friends and family may not have spent time much with your fiance (especially if you weren’t together long before you got engaged).  Use the program to share your story with your guests.  It is also a nice way to share critical information about the day like the program of events, special announcements, etc.  In my experience, the DJ usually forgets.

9. Set aside Vacation Days for Wedding Prep

I took the 2 days before the wedding and 1 day after the honeymoon completely off.  Those were critical days for me to be able to complete wedding preparations (before-hand) and to pick up gifts and take care of errands (afterwards).

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One thought on “How to Plan a Wedding in 90 Days

  1. Happy to have inspired this! I’m so impressed that you pulled it all off in 90 days! Even with 9 months, I still ran into missing items on my day of: my custom-made guestbook didn’t arrive in time, and I forgot my all-important red MAC lipstain at home on my parents’ kitchen table! I’m pretty convinced no longer how long a couple has to pull off a “perfect” day, there will always be something that doesn’t go as planned and they will have to choose to go with the flow 😉

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