How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months or Less

Updated: Sep 9

How long do you need to plan a wedding?


Size and budget play a big factor in this answer, mainly because the timeline will vary based on the number of details. On average, couples spend between 8-12 months planning out a wedding of their dreams. If you’re like us, though, and prefer a small, boutique wedding, with a shorter planning window, you may want to set everything up in less time than that — which is totally doable! We’ve created a condensed timeline for couples looking to host an intimate wedding in only 6 months.

First, pick your day while keeping these seasonal tips in mind.


6 Months Away:

  • Determine your budget.

  • Make your guest list.

  • Shop venues & pick one.

  • Take engagement photos.


The first thing you should do when wedding planning, regardless of your timeline is set the budget. And with the budget, comes the guest list.


The easiest way to reduce the cost of your overall wedding day is to reduce the number of guests you’re inviting! It shrinks the size of everything you'll be ordering along the way and can exponentially cut the costs of things like the venue, equipment rentals, catering, mail-outs and favors. Once you have an idea of your total number of invitees, start to shop for a venue that accommodates a crowd that size. Try not to go any bigger than you need.


Finally, if you’re planning on using your engagement photos for Save The Dates, get those taken now! Remember, depending on the photographer, it can take up to 3-4 weeks to get these photos back to you.


5 Months Away:

  • Pick and hire a caterer / bartender.

  • Hire a photographer.

  • Find the perfect wedding dress.

  • Send out your Save The Dates.


With 5 months away, you should prioritize vendors that book up the fastest and furthest in advance. In our experience, this is usually photographers and caterers. If you have your eye on someone specific, reach out and make plans as soon as possible!


This is also when you should aim to shop for a wedding dress if you want to avoid any rush fees.


4 Months Away:

  • Hire an officiant.

  • Ask your wedding party.

  • Design and order your wedding cake.


Things are starting to speed up. Ask around your group to select your wedding party, so they can plan accordingly.


Finally, enjoy the fun of designing or picking out a unique wedding cake that shows your personality. Get the order put in and be ahead of schedule!


3 Months Away:

  • Hire a DJ or band.

  • Hire a florist.

  • Hire hair & makeup artists.

  • Order wedding invitations.


3 Months until the big day. You should focus on finding the rest of your wedding vendors. Entertainment, florists, hair and makeup, and officiants are the most common vendors, but this also includes any unique vendors like live painters or photo booths!


This is also the right time to design and put in your custom wedding invitation order so you can get them mailed out with plenty of notice.


2 Months Away:

  • Mail out your invitations.

  • Shop for and purchase your wedding bands.

  • Order your ceremony decorations.

  • Host your hair & makeup trial.

  • Order a tux for the groom.


As we start to approach the wedding day, less time-sensitive items should be ordered, like wedding bands, decorations, and the groom and groomsmens' tuxes.


Once you've received your invitations, send them out and give people a good 60 days notice. with an RSVP date of one month before your wedding! This should give you just the right amount of time to track down any missed responses before providing your venue and caterer with your final numbers two weeks before your wedding.


Finally, schedule your hair and makeup trial to get the perfect do' an accessories finalized.


1 Month Away:

  • Follow up on any missed RSVPs.

  • Give your final headcount to catering and the venue.

  • Create your seating chart.

  • Have your final dress and tux fittings.

  • Get your marriage license.


This final 30 days before your wedding will pass in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to check off the final items on your to-do list! You’ll want to know exactly when your final headcount is due to your caterer and make sure you follow up on any missing RSVPs before that date! Once you have your final guest count, it’s time to make a seating chart!


You’ll also want to have your final fittings during the last month and make sure you pick up your tux and dress from the tailors!


Finally, and most importantly, make sure you check off all of the legal necessities like picking up your marriage license in the correct timeframe!


How to Plan a Wedding in 6 Months Takeaway

Wedding planning can be a long, grueling process, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s absolutely possible to pull off a gorgeous intimate wedding in 6 months, especially if you are solid decision-makers. We hope this timeline is helpful for any couples looking to get married in less than a year so you can approach wedding planning with confidence!



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