On becoming engaged, many couples foresee several months, if not years of being able to plan, prepare and save for their wedding day. For some brides and grooms-to-be however, a long engagement is out of the question and they have just a few months and in some cases just weeks to plan that day of a lifetime. Quite apart from all the other arrangements to make, most bridal shops will recoil in horror if you tell them you need your wedding dress sooner than next year!
A short engagement may not have originally been on the agenda but a wedding sooner than initially anticipated could be the only option if someone close to you is terminally ill, or it could be down to work commitments, military obligations, pregnancy or job opportunities. Of course you might just be unable to wait to become husband and wife and that desire overrules everything else!
There’s no need to panic though as it is all most certainly achievable. You can have your dream wedding dress and perfect day without having to elope. Just have a sprinkling of good humour and some flexibility and all your wishes can come true!
Bear in mind the legalities of having a last-minute wedding. For a civil ceremony you need to give a minimum of a week’s notice before the wedding. Get in touch with your local registry office for more details. Religious ceremonies can need a couple of month’s notice, and in the Christian Church, banns need to be read in three consecutive weeks in the run up to your wedding day. Inform the officiant or registrar who you would like to conduct the ceremony and find out from them how soon you can book the day. Remember if you do wish to elope abroad or in the UK, to research the legal paperwork beforehand.
Wedding venues that are popular can be booked up years in advance, so you will need to be flexible on which days you get married. If you go for a midweek day it is also likely to save you some money. Do look at a wide variety of alternative wedding venues and locations to give you the choice of a wedding date as soon as you desire.
Many wedding photographers may already be pre-booked, especially if your wedding is at the weekend, as they do tend to get booked up very quickly. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Due to the short time scale, if you find one who is available, they may offer you a very good package so it is worth shopping around.
If you are struggling to get a custom made wedding cake then why not have a go at making it yourself, it doesn’t have to be a fancy four-tier creation. There are also some marvellous cakes available on the High Street.
What about my wedding gown I hear you cry? As the large proportion of wedding dress manufacturers have a delivery time of up to 16 weeks to order with further time needed for dress fittings, you may well despair that you will be getting wed in a wedding dress that you don’t love. Don’t worry! There are shops out there where you can buy beautiful (and cheap!) designer wedding dresses off the peg, so if you find one that fits perfectly, there won’t even be any need for alterations. Don’t forget your accessories – tiara, veil, underskirt. A good bridal shop should be able to help advise you.
If you really want the guest list to be in full attendance it may be worth you speaking to your close friends and family before booking the date to ensure they can attend. They may be required to book time off work or cancel scheduled arrangements. On the other hand you may wish to surprise them! Once you have set the date you will need to send your invitations out at your earliest possible convenience as you will need those RSVPs back as soon as possible.
Send your Groom off out shopping to get his outfit hired, plan your hen and stag parties and delegate jobs and responsibilities to wedding guests, friends and family. Everything will be organised before you know it and planning a wedding in a short time scale is just like any other wedding in that there is a lot that can’t be done until the last few weeks anyway.
Happy last minute wedding day!
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