SET A BUDGET
"The first big step is to decide on the budget," Duncan says. "Often, planning a wedding quickly means you may pay more for things because you do not have time to shop around or delay making purchases."
Also, keep in mind that the vendors you have to select from at the last minute might be more expensive, and there could be added expenses you never anticipated. In fact, while helping her friend plan her wedding, they realized there wasn’t a kitchen at the farm. "We had to create everything," Duncan says, noting that it certainly made things more difficult, especially since they only had a modest budget.
In the end, it worked out because "we communicated openly about what was possible and what was not under the circumstances. Since we had to bring everything in, we kept it all very simple," she said.
HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
If the couple or their close friends have experience planning events, know vendors they can rely on, and have plenty of time on their hands, then a wedding planner might not be necessary, Duncan says. Otherwise, "I would always advise finding someone who knows the ropes to make the process easier. The biggest problem is finding trustworthy vendors who might still have the date open. A planner can certainly help, since they typically know all of the vendors in their area."
Always make sure you have a contract in place with the vendors you select. "Don’t skip over these precautions just because you are trying to pull things together quickly," Duncan warns.
STICK TO A SCHEDULE
"When planning a wedding in a short amount of time, you have to make decisions quickly and move on," Duncan says. "There is no time to procrastinate or labor over the choices you have to make."
"Most importantly, the couple has to have some degree of flexibility when making decisions," Duncan says. "For example, if the peonies you always dreamed of are not available, you might have to settle for something else. You just cannot be rigid when you only have days to plan. Decide on a few basics, like overall style and color. After that, you almost have to see what’s available and go from there."
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Kelly Rouba is an accomplished journalist and public speaker, having started her career at age 19 when she took a position as a stringer for the Trenton Times while still in college. Among the various publications she now writes for is Action magazine, thisabled.com, and mobilewomen.org. She is also the author of Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide.