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#46 + 47: Planning in Under 4 Months

We know that planning a wedding can often seem like an overwhelming and stressful experience, especially when you're on a tight timeline.

With a little help and some tips, it can also be a fun and exciting journey. So whether you're newly engaged or just starting to plan, we've got you covered.

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So, let's get started with the basics.

When planning a wedding in less than 4 months, the first thing you need to do is prioritize your to-do list. Sit down with your partner and discuss what matters the most to you on your special day. This could include your venue, your dress, your guest list, your catering, or other details that you feel are important.

Once you have established your priorities, it's time to get organized. Make a timeline of tasks that need to be completed and set deadlines for each one. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you're not forgetting any important details.

Now, let's talk about the event venue.

When you're short on time, it's important to be flexible with your venue options. Consider venues that area little further outside your city limits or original search bubble or ones that may be more affordable during the off-season. You might also want to consider non-traditional venues like parks, museums, or even your own backyard.

When choosing a venue, make sure to ask about their availability and any restrictions they may have. You'll also want to make sure that they can accommodate your guest list and provide the services you need, such as catering, tables, and chairs.

Now, let's talk about what you are wearing.

Particularly if that is a bridal gown. When you're on a tight timeline, it's important to be open to purchasing a gown off the rack or even at a sample sale. This can save you a lot of time and money, and you can still find a beautiful dress that makes you feel special.

You'll also want to consider the alterations timeline when purchasing your dress. Make sure you have enough time to get any necessary alterations done before your big day. And if you're short on time, consider finding a seamstress who can work quickly and efficiently.

Let's talk about your guest list. When you're planning a wedding in less than 4 months, it's important to be realistic about your guest list. You may need to limit the number of people you invite or be more selective with your invitations.

This can also be a good time to consider a smaller, more intimate wedding.

You can still have a beautiful and meaningful ceremony with a smaller group of family and friends.

Finally, let's talk about catering. When you're on a tight timeline, it's important to find a catering company that can work quickly and efficiently. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews from other couples who have used their services.

You'll also want to consider the type of food and service you want to have. Buffet-style or family-style meals can be a great option for a more relaxed and casual wedding, while a seated dinner may be more appropriate for a more formal affair.

We hope that you found these tips helpful and that you're feeling more confident about planning your special day. Remember, even if you're on a tight timeline, it's still possible to have a beautiful and meaningful wedding. Happy planning!

Before we switch gears, please keep in mind that your focus, your #1 thing to do is... drum roll please...

romantic elopement ceremony, hillside and candlelit near Denton texas at hawthorn hills ranch
Courtney Taylor Photography - Hawthorn Hills Ranch

Step one:

Find your VENUE - place, date, and hopefully a few other things off your list. You can read more details about this (or listen in to the planning podcast) over on Episode #01

Be organized and flexible.

Choosing a non-Saturday, or non-peak "wedding season" date may be in your best interest. Finding all your dream vendors, at the last minute might be more difficult if you're planning for a Saturday in October since many vendors book those dates months, or year(s) in advance.

8 Questions for Planning a Wedding in less than 4 Months

(from part 2 - Episode #47)

This portion of our planning a wedding in under 4 months topic was structured as a Q & A session. Below you can read the frequently asked questions we have gotten, and what our answers are.

What has been the hardest part of planning a wedding in a short timeframe?

  • Balancing work, life, and planning

  • Making decisions quickly and without hesitation/second thoughts

  • Finding available vendors (off-season, non-saturdays, etc)

What is the easiest part of planning a wedding so quickly?

  • It’s done! No need to stress for months on months

  • No time to regret/second guess - have to make choices quickly

  • Inclusive venue packages

How can you use technology to help keep planning a bit less stressful?

  • Collect your wedding RSVPs online

  • Wedding websites for updating information

  • Live streaming for guests who cannot make it but want to celebrate and support you

  • Planning via video calls! We do this all the time at Hawthorn Hills Ranch (North Texas Event Venue)

  • Tours via video call. Yes, this is a normal thing, we do a few a month and are sure to be your personal tour guide.

Elopement, micro wedding, or regular packages?

micro wedding timeline and template for planning a small intimate wedding from hawthorn hills ranch, a north texas event venue near denton

Listen in to hear the difference (or check out the Micro-wedding FAQs from Hawthorn Hills Ranch HERE).

What you decide to do for your moment and celebration is completely up to you! If your planning in less than 45 days we would recommend considering an elopement or micro-wedding, and if you want to host a reception later down the road you absolutely can! That way you get the best of both without stressing too much or going over budget.

Inclusive vs not

  • Inclusive venue packages mean that instead of finding a linen company, bartending company, caterer, or event staff to set up, bus tables, and clean following you have just 1 contact - 1 package and BOOM all set. Some venues include way more as well - like cake, DJ, photography, floral... the list goes on and on.

  • If your perfect venue does not have inclusive options that's okay! Getting vendor recommendations from the venue of pros they work with regularly and know their property in and out means you have a reliable business that will keep the planning process easier on you.

Will it be smaller?

  • There are absolutely some things to keep in mind when you are giving your wedding guests short notice for your celebration. Guests need to get off work, which depends on the day of the week you host it or the location can be more difficult for them.

  • All in all - it truly varies. Most weddings that plan within 4 months have close to the same percentage of their guest list able to attend. If you have family and friends from out of state, this will decrease your guest list "yes" RSVPs.

Having help:

We truly believe that it takes a village. Listen - if you hired us for your wedding day we could not do all the things alone. We would need a team to assist - and you should feel confident that it's okay that you do too! You have people around you already - let them know you need some support!

  • Your family

  • Wedding party (Listen in to Episode #44: Wedding Party Responsibilities)

  • PROS - make sure you hire vendors that are ready to be on your team and help streamline your planning. Just be sure you aren't expecting them to do more than the service you hired them for.

  • Skip DIY everything and just pick a couple of projects

Is it stressful?

Only you know what your triggers are. All - in - all wedding planning is STRESSFUL. We do this full time and it is still a LOT to juggle. So you planning something for the first time, ever, learning about not only planning but your local area and industry is a full-time hobby. Add on top the stress of meeting your family's expectations and PHEW.

The question though is planning in less than 4 months MORE stressful than planning in a full year? From feedback from our couples, the most common answer is no. However, we feel like this greatly depends on your flexibility, and knowing that some areas of your wedding may be more simple than others. Just remember simplicity is beautiful, it can be elegant or casual - but what it is means that you are not doing 100s of tiny details throughout the day.



This Episode was hosted by AMANDA

Listen to the Episode HERE


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