Whether you’ve just got engaged but want to get married in 30 days, or have you left planning wedding until the last minute, this is your last minute organisation guide (the wedding planning procrastinator’s handbook). While you won’t get a lot of use out of our wedding planner book in just 30 days, you might like to use wedding planning pack – including excel templates for wedding budget and guestlist, and vendor question guides, it’ll get you through any sticky spots over the next month.
Set a Wedding Date
If you’re looking to set a date in just a month, consider an off-peak day. If you’re having a winter wedding, you may also find this easier, as wedding venues and vendors aren’t as busy then. If you’re having a summer wedding, talk to vendors and venues about a Thursday, Friday or Sunday wedding.
Have you found a wedding venue?
If you haven’t secured a wedding venue you love, or the ones you loved are booked well in advance, think outside the square. In most countries there are thousands of private properties which are suitable for a hiring for a wedding. In New Zealand, the wedding map operates like an ‘Air BnB’ for wedding venues – you can search by location or category (e.g. beach/barn) and specifically opt for a private home, as we did. You still need to ask any and all questions you possibly have about hiring a wedding venue before you sign a contract – even when you’re in a rush! You may be working on a tight deadline, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time for clarification. The wedding planning pack includes all those niggly questions, including the legals you need to know.
Consider restaurants, art galleries or even museums for your gathering, have a look at 20 unique and alternative wedding venues to help you think outside the square.
Write a Guest List and Send it Soon
Though it may feel a little rushed to send your wedding invitations (you can skip save-the-dates!) as soon as you’ve booked a date and wedding venue, your guests aren’t going to have much time to get time off, arrange transport, childcare and possibly accommodation, so give them as much notice as possible.
If your Wedding Venue doesn’t have in-house catering
Even if you’ve left it til the last minute, you still may be able to find an independent wedding caterer. If you’re having any trouble, talk to local restaurants and see if they’re able to provide even just the main course. Friends and family may be able to whip up canapés, crudités and cheese for after, and your wedding cake can do double-duty for dessert –add cream and berries for a summer feel.
Booking a Last Minute Wedding Photographer
The difficulty in finding your wedding photographer at short notice will depend on whether it’s a busy Saturday in peak season, or if you’ve chosen a less busy day for your nuptials. Your wedding venue or other vendors may know an up and coming photographer who’s not yet fully booked, or you could also enquire with Design schools or universities who have photography students willing to shoot for you.
Finding Wedding Attire in 30 days
If it’s a wedding dress you’re after, you can find one off-the-rack and have it altered, but as most custom wedding gowns take 3-6 months to make, it may be too tight to have a completely bespoke dress designed. While there are beautiful off-the-rack styles, you might also consider a ‘non’ wedding dress from a department store or even Asos, who have incredibly cost-effective bridal options.
For suiting, likewise you won’t be able to do custom, but do start shopping around now to allow time for alterations.
For your wedding party, Asos has an incredible array of bridesmaids dresses too!
Find a Live Musician at Short Notice
Contact a music school or a University music class to find a student or instructor, or even a band. Of course, you could always put together your own playlist instead, just be sure to check the sound system in the days before the wedding. Consider whether you need to hire a microphone, speakers or any other set up for your musician at the wedding venue.
Writing your vows and wedding speech
This can be a tricky whenever you do it – when else are you expected to express your most personal feelings in front of dozens (if not hundreds) of people? Even if you’re a wordsmith, it’s unique to share such intimate and private feelings in public, but its also one of the most special and sentimental elements of a wedding, and important that your promises are witnessed by friends and family. I recommend using a couple’s journal like our love story throughout your wedding planning journey (however short), noting down things you love and admire in your partner, recalling special memories and making speech notes along the way. If you haven’t done this and there’s not long to go, spend an evening with your partner and a bottle of wine and discuss your shared history, favourite memories and intentions for the future. Our love story is also a prompted wedding anniversary journal for after the Big Day
Don’t forget your Marriage Licence
Marriage Licences need to be applied for at least three clear days out from the wedding, but you can do so up to three months out, so don’t delay (we know the Government don’t do things in a hurry!). See NZ marriage legalities here.