So you want to get married in the Washington DC area, but don’t have a ton of time to plan? Today, we have a few quick wedding planning tips from DC area wedding planner, Ginger, at Gingerwood Creative. (Spoiler alert: Be sure to come back later this morning because we have an awesome giveaway from Ginger!) She has the basics for pulling it all together in short order! But, before we get started, what is considered a “short” wedding planning timeframe in the Washington DC area? When it comes to planning a wedding in DC, Maryland and Virginia most weddings are planned in eight to 12 months. This time frame tends to give couples a good stretch to plan and choose vendors without being too far in advance. Today, we are giving advice for planning a wedding in less than six months. With a short time frame in mind, let’s let Ginger take it away with her fast wedding planning advice…
Photo Courtesy of Gingerwood Creative
It’s a wonderful luxury to have a few years to plan your wedding. But, what are you to do when you only have a few months – or a few weeks – to get it all done? Here is some advice to help you keep your cool and get to “I do” in record time.
Remember the Planning Basics
With all the excitement, it’s easy to charge ahead without a clear plan. But you’ll feel much more in control along the way if you remember some planning basics.
Budget: Start with a strong and realistic budget. It will help you avoid the costly perils of speed planning as the details multiply.
Venue: Book your venues right away so you can lock in the date and place and get that information to your other vendors and wedding guests.
Be Decisive: After venue, you’ll want to lock down other long-lead time vendors, such as catering. Don’t waffle on these items, as you could miss out on certain dates and waste time. Better to make decisions quickly and move onto the next thing on your to-do list.
Be Upfront: Be honest and clear with your vendors about your time frame. For example, it is common for a wedding dress to take 12 weeks to arrive and more for alterations. Be upfront with your suppliers so you don’t waste each other’s time reviewing unrealistic options. Make sure you know which items have time-requirements, like counseling with your officiant or extra processing time for your invitation, so you can start those moving early.
Get a Planner: Absolutely consider hiring a wedding planner at whatever level you can afford. He or she can help to guide you through the thicket, take part of the work-load, and help avoid major drama.
Here are a few other tips that can help you to plan your wedding on a shorter time frame:
Be On Trend
Personal style is important, but selecting a rare shade of mauve, for example, as your key color can be a real time-eater. Try sticking to common, easier to find colors. Before you become dead-set on certain colors and motifs, visit stores, talk with your caterer and ask your florist for feedback. They may have something fantastic they are dying to use for an open-minded couple. If you absolutely must incorporate a hard-to-find design element, weave it in through items that will be customized with ink and paint, such as invitations or signage.
Ah, I love a good quirky detail and it’s so Instagram ready. But, if you feel like you’re forcing it, avoid making desperate choices you’ll regret just because you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you can’t find what you envisioned, go with the classic choice that fits the core of your wedding style. You’ll be happy you did.
Every layer of detail is another contract to sign or item to track down. Focus on two or three big moments or activities, rather than 20 little ones. Also, spending a few more dollars on a venue that is equipped with ‘extras’ that fit your tastes and needs can save you in the long run and do some serious slashing to your to-do list.
Limit the DIY
Here’s a time to get really honest with yourself. Does Etsy know you for your crafting or your credit card? Even seemingly small projects can take forever. So, keep the DIY simple or focused to areas where you know it’s most important to you.
Many wedding professionals book out far, far in advance. If you’re adamant on certain vendors, consider avoiding the prime-time Saturday night; even a Saturday afternoon can make all the difference. If choice #1 is booked, ask if they can recommend some great, like-minded professionals, especially those newly independent who may be more available.
Thank you so much, Ginger! This is such great advice on how to get all the wedding planning done in a flash! If you are looking for a wedding planner and/or event stylist in the DC area, be sure to check out Ginger at Gingerwood Creative. And, do NOT forget to come back later this morning for a very special giveaway from Gingerwood Creative. You won’t want to miss this!
Are you looking for more local wedding ideas and advice? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.