Most wedding timelines you find on the internet start about a year out with important decisions spread out so you aren’t dealing with everything at once. While this can be a less stressful way to wedding plan, sometimes that year timeline just doesn’t work. Sometimes circumstances arise and a couple decides that it’s best to get married quickly — perhaps it has to do with planning to move abroad due to a job change or making sure that an ailing family member can attend the wedding. Some couples would just prefer to not wait if they don’t have to! Here are five tips to make sure that you make it through the process of wedding planning with a short engagement.

1) Get a Package Deal

Check out resorts, hotels, and other popular venue spaces in your area. If they regularly do weddings they likely have several wedding packages ready to go, minimizing the amount of phone calls and decisions you’ll have to make. The venue will likely provide you with a wedding coordinator to walk you through your choices and make sure that all of your bases are covered. Typically, these sort of packages will include things like the catering, alcohol, place settings and decor. If they don’t provide things like music, the cake, or entertainment, they’ll be able to point you to a preferred vendor that they love to work with. This is a great option as your vendors will all already know what they’re working with and have probably worked together in the past!

These wedding packages are popular for a reason — they’re what appeals to most people. That said, you may find you have a little less personalization if you go this route. If you’re worried about your wedding not feeling like “you,” talk to your wedding coordinator about little ways you want to personalize your wedding package. If it comes with a pianist to play while you walk down the aisle, they may be happy to play something from your favorite film score instead of more traditional music if you prefer.

2) Order Your Dress As Soon As Possible

Many brides wait until their venue is all ironed out before they get their dress. Unfortunately, if you’re planning your wedding quickly, you will want to get your dress as quickly as possible so any alterations that need to be made can happen. Depending on your timeline, this may mean you opt for something off the rack that can be taken home the day you purchase it. Trunk sales and buying the shop sample are also potential great options. Ordering your dress through online retailers like Fan C Designs may be a great choice to save time! Talk to your consultant and see what options are. They may be able to work some magic for you. Also check in with any seamstress friends who may be able to help you quickly alter your dress as a wedding gift rather than going through a shop.

3) Get Organized!

With a time crunch, you may not have the time to go back and fix a mistake if you miss something along the way. Many bridal websites offer calendars and checklists so you can make sure that you don’t miss anything. Digital planning systems utilizing your smartphone and your computer can work wonders; but if you prefer a physical planning system with a paper to do list you can check off, wedding binders work great. You can make your own or purchase a premade one from a book store so nothing makes it through the cracks.

4) Delegate Tasks

While getting organized, remember to ask for help when you need it! Your nearest and dearest may be happy to take care of some of the planning for you so you have less on your plate. Your maid of honor might be happy to organize everyone’s attire for you and your mom might take care of the meal and cake so you can focus on other things. If you delegate tasks, make sure you communicate effectively and make a timeline with whoever is helping you so that you know everything will come together in time.

5) Be Flexible

While your wedding is a special, wonderful day, if you’re planning your wedding fast, you might have to be a little flexible. Your dream venue might not be available on a Saturday night — but they may be happy to host your wedding on a Wednesday or Thursday. Maybe your vendors aren’t available for an evening wedding but can do a morning? You might be looking at a fantastic brunch wedding. If you stay flexible and keep an open mind, you’ll be able to make sure that everything comes together as quickly as you need to and you get to celebrate with everyone you love.

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