One of my first full planning contracts was an express wedding. My client reached out to me and asked if I can plan an entire wedding in just two months. It was exciting and scary at the same time. I couldn’t say no to this amazing opportunity but I was worried that I would not be able to find any good vendors for a Saturday wedding in the month of June. Hello! Wedding prime time season! So I took a deep breath and told my future bride not to worry because I have everything under control.
1- Hire a wedding planner that offers floral design and planning
Truth be told, I do applaud my client for making her first call to a wedding planner and not even attempting to plan the wedding herself. Wedding planners are a sound investment to make in the early stages of your wedding. They can take away the stress and find ways to make everything fit in your budget. So making a small investment by hiring your planner will save you money in the long run. Moreover, finding a planner that offers double duty planning and floral design is key because you only have to deal with one person for your design, flowers, and coordination. This is a huge time-saver.
2- Begin dress-shopping ASAP!
Usually, wedding dresses are made to order and require a few months to be delivered. So if you can’t get a dress made to order, do not worry as many retailers have a few sizes in stock. So you can get a brand new dress and have plenty of time for alterations.
3- Skip the paper invitations.
Express weddings are usually planned in less than six months. This means, you definitely don’t have time for Save The Dates. Email everyone as soon a possible asking them to mark their calendar and inform them that E-vites are to follow. Online invitations are a great money- and time-saver. Think about it: invitations can take two months to design and print, then you have to give your guests 2-3 weeks to RSVP, and then you will need to provide your final headcount a few weeks before the wedding. So, unless you can’t live without paper invitations, I would just skip it.
4- Finding the right vendors
I love that express weddings don’t give you the time to second guess yourself. Decisions have to be made quickly and usually your gut is always right. You don’t have the luxury of visiting several vendors. My advice: before making any decisions, make a list of things you hate. I always ask my clients for their “must haves” (e.g. a great photographer, a band and not a DJ etc.) and wedding pet peeves. Nine out of ten times I get a clear description of things clients don’t want to see at their wedding. By doing this exercise, you come to realize what you like, it helps your planner narrow down the list of vendors that will work for you, and most importantly you’re guaranteed not to see anything you can’t stand at your wedding. This is a solid plan that works every time!
5- A short notice wedding may cause a shorter guest list
You have to be prepared that you may receive some declines: since your invitees did not free up their calendar ahead of time, they may have other commitments. But don’t despair because intimate weddings are beautiful! They truly are my favorites. With a smaller wedding, you may be able splurge on some items that you probably would not opt for on a bigger wedding. And let’s not forget: smaller weddings are less expensive. Saving money is never a bad thing.
At last! Your wedding day is here! That’s the best part of an express wedding, you blink and everything is done. All you need to do is celebrate!
Events by Cece