Ever wonder how celebrities plan their big days in a matter of weeks? You might think it all has to do with money. Well let me just tell you that is not entirely true.
Last year Zeke and I decided to get married. We didn’t have a large budget in hand ($7,000) compared to the national average but knew it was possible. We had been together for about 3 years and knew we always wanted to get married. Zeke and I were joined at the hips from the start. At the beginning of last year we decided to start saving for the big day. Around my Birthday in August I had a wonderful surprise and found out Baby Esther was on the way. We met with our family and decided it was best to get married before the baby arrived. The planning of our wedding then began for the settled date of November, giving us 2 months.
For the most part, any woman who wants to get married has been planning their wedding since they can remember. The dresses, the flowers, the cake, the bouquet. If you’re like me you probably already had a Pinterest board before you were even engaged. However that board didn’t consist of tips for budgeting, tips for finding vendors, etc. So your mind is probably going 100 mph trying to figure out what to do.
Luckily my mother is a florist and event planner. She had done many weddings before mine came around. Planning a wedding in two months is not something she had done, but not something she saw impossible either. So below I have created a guide as to how to do it. I’ve created the guide so that it fits any budget so this could potentially help anyone planning a wedding in a short amount of time.
So here goes, the Guide on How to Planning a Wedding in 2 Months with a budget in mind.
- Get a notebook– This may seem insignificant now, but your life will depend on it later. Jot down the colors you want for your wedding, the flowers you want, the feel or theme. All of it, write it down on a single notebook that you will carry everywhere.
- Get a planning app- I used The Knot Wedding Planner for my Android. I mostly used it for my checklist but it has a bunch of other useful features. Wedding Planner – Wedding Wire is another great app, I would look at the two before deciding which to use. When you put in your wedding date the checklist will adjust to your timeline so that the to-do list will mostly go in line with what you need to do first. You will look at this and your notebook daily for the next 2 months.
- Figure out your budget – First thing we did was check our budget. Find out how much we had in cash, and the max budget that we were willing to spend. Zeke and I did not want to start our marriage in debt so we firmly stood by our budget.
- Find out your 3 priorities – For us it was the venue, the photography and the food. This was key, once we figured out how much would be spending on these it let us know what we could spend on next. Talk with your partner and figure out what you are willing to spend on. This is your day after all so make sure you spend on what really counts.
- Venue– If finding the venue is one of your priorities I suggest you make it your first. I say this because you want to be able to pick a date that works for you, and if a venue cannot accommodate then you will need to find another. If you are flexible and stuck on a venue then you might want to go with a date that they have available and work around that. I went with the latter.
- Food– We wanted to make sure our guests would enjoy the food and not have any complaints. We tested our cake and plates before choosing our vendor. I chose a distant-family-member who owned a restaurant after taste testing. It was delicious and came with a family discount.
- Photography– Earlier that year we had participated in a wedding in California and fell in love with how the photographer worked. He made it feel so natural we forgot we were posing and the pictures spoke for themselves. I was excited to find out he could make it on our weekend and did not mind flying him out to the DC area.
- Send out invitations – Why is this important? Most vendors price their items based on size or quantity. You want to know how many people you are serving and how big a space you need. So mindfully create that guest list and send out those invitations ASAP to get the RSVP’s. Some of my family doesn’t check their email as often as I wish they did, but if yours does I encourage you to use Evite . You can find free invitations, save the dates, etc AND get instant replies from your guests. You can also relay important information this way and it helps if you don’t have the home addresses of friends and family. Most couples send out invitations 3 months in advance so time is of the essence.
- Figure out your budget – Now that you know how much you are spending on the important stuff, now you can move on to the next. Here you re-evaluate what you want at your wedding. Use your family and friends as resources IF possible. Things you’ll want to consider are (if they weren’t your top 3): your wedding dress and his suit, the flowers, the music, the hair-do, the make-up, cocktails, hor d’oeuvres, keepsakes, gifts for the groomsmen and the bridesmaids, transportation, fees, etc.
- Delegate – I was able to do this because my family was ALL HANDS ON DECK for this wedding. Once you find out who is willing to help and how much things will cost, make a list and delegate. This also includes the groom, yes the groom. Normally he gets to sit back, relax, watch you pick the colors, go to appointments, etc. Not this time, no sir. Zeke’s responsibility was the groomsmen, making sure the photographer and his needs were taken care of, and figuring out the music situation. I had 3 younger sisters and a to-be sister-in-law who were my lifesavers and my mother. So make copies of that notebook with your ideas and hand them out for reference.
- Run, Run, and Run– I don’t know about you but just writing this makes me feel rushed, and you should feel rushed. These 2 months you will live, eat, and breathe wedding. Nothing else in the world matters other than the wedding. Your phone will buzz constantly with texts and phone calls and emails. You will have people who will want to help, TAKE THEIR HELP. Believe me you need as much as you can get. It may be hard to trust people and think they understand your vision so make you make copies of that handbook and give them out.
- Prepare for the Wedding– You will get to the point where everything is done. You will sit there an think, did I forget something? After everything has been ordered, scheduled and made, you will check twice. That’s fine and all, but don’t forget to prepare yourself. Take this moment to sit down and breathe it all in. You are getting married. So go to the spa, get a fake tan, do you nails, get your hair done and take it in. Slow it down and wait for your wedding day.
- Check your budget one last time: Hopefully you still have a something left in your wallet, if necessary, put money aside to tip vendors.
Planning my wedding in 2 months has to be the most craziest thing I have ever done. But it was sooo worth it. I had a beautiful wedding with music, and great food, and great people. If you would like to know what I did to save money and how I picked my vendors, wait for my upcoming post How to save Thousands on your Wedding. I will also be posting the pictures for my wedding soon to hopefully give some ideas on how to create a rustic look for you wedding at a low cost.