How to Plan a Last Minute Wedding

Whatever the reason, a last-minute wedding can be incredibly romantic. Not only will you save yourself months (if not years) of stressful planning, but you’ll also have a great story to tell. Planning a last minute wedding can be overwhelming, but the key to getting it right is to cut out those stress-inducing extras and focus on what truly matters to you and your spouse. There may be a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but organising the big day doesn’t have to be a whirlwind of frenetic activity. Here are some tips to help you plan a picture-perfect wedding in less than three months.

Create a Wedding Budget

First things first, you need to create a wedding budget so you know how much you can spend. Decide whether you want to honeymoon abroad or in the UK and set a budget for that too. As well as figuring out how much money you’ll need for the venue and honeymoon, you also need to factor in the other big expenses, such as wedding outfits, entertainment, transport and catering.

Book a Venue

Perhaps the hardest part of planning a last minute wedding is finding a venue. While it’s good to be realistic about where you’ll tie the knot, you don’t have to give up on your dream wedding just because you’re short on time. There are plenty of beautiful wedding venues in London for last minute ceremonies, such as grand manors, rustic barns, castles and grounds. Spend some time researching your options and get a venue booked as quickly as possible.

Create a Guest List

Creating a guest list is something most couples spend months agonising over, but you simply don’t have that luxury. Sit down with your spouse and decide how many people you want to invite. Check how many guests your venue can accommodate, consult your budget, then start to narrow down your list. Leave feelings of guilt aside and focus on who you want with you on the big day, even if it’s only close friends and family.

Send Invitations

Once you’ve booked your venue and finalised the guest list, the next item on your to-do list is to send out the invitations. It’s important to give your guests as much notice as possible so you know they will be able to attend. Ask for prompt RSVPs so you can book a caterer, and request information on dietary requirements if you’re having a sit-down meal.

Choose Your Style

Once you’ve ticked the most important tasks off your list, it’s time to think about the style of your wedding. You probably have some ideas for themes and decoration already, but now it’s time to put these plans into action. Think about decorations, bridal bouquets, table favours, the wedding cake and, lastly, what you want to wear. If you’re overwhelmed by all these tasks, delegate some of the planning to bridesmaids or willing family members.

Buy Your Wedding Outfit

Now that the big day is drawing closer, it’s time to choose your wedding dress or tux. If you want to have your dress or suit properly fitted, then you’ll need to give the supplier enough notice to make the necessary adjustments. Last minute ceremonies are often synonymous with more casual attire; so don’t feel like you have to dress traditionally if this doesn’t fit with your style.

Book Caterers

Some reception contracts include catering as part of the package, but if not, then you need to book this separately. Keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to opt for a buffet-style spread rather than a formal meal. If your venue has a bar, you’ll need to decide whether guests will pay for their drinks or whether you’ll provide some. Bottles of champagne or prosecco on ice are a nice gesture, and bubbles are great for getting everyone in the party spirit. You also need to hire someone to make your wedding cake and decide how you want to display it.

Contact Other Vendors

As well as booking caterers, you also need to contact other vendors you might need for your reception, such as a florist, DJ or performer, photographer and hair and makeup artist. If you’re lucky enough to have talented friends, ask them to step into these roles, and you’ll save yourself plenty of time and money.

Give Notice to Marry

If you plan on getting married or entering a civil partnership, you and your partner need to give notice (separately) at your local registry office at least 28 days prior to the ceremony. Then, once the formalities are out of the way, there’s nothing left but to say, “I do.”

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