Here is another #WeddingChatter recap; Wedding planning with short engagements. The #WeddingChatter is a twitter chat that seeks to talk with Brides and wedding industry professionals to extract advice for wedding planning. 2 Fridays ago, we co-hosted with Karley Kiker, the author of the book “Hitched in A hurry” and our topic was about hitched in a hurry type of weddings, a.k.a weddings planned with short engagements.
Here are the major points we discussed:
Reason | Why the Short Engagement?
The “why” is usually the first point to tackle. Why do some brides opt for “quick” weddings? This could be due to reasons such as; distance between the couple which may require moving (think of issues such as immigration processes), change of jobs, military weddings, a baby on the way, and more. Being sure of the reason behind having a short engagement would definitely help things be put in perspective especially when it comes to the type of wedding a bride has in mind.
Not that a bride should make her decision based on what every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks but it would be advisable to be ready when the “Why the Hurry” questions start coming, because they would come. The parents would ask, the friends would do so too. The couple should try to cover all grounds in regards to the feelings of the people most important to them (Family and Friends) about such a wedding as to avoid conflict during the planning process.
Pros & Cons
As with everything in life, there are pros and cons. There is this thing almost every bride faces; let’s call it the Bridey-back-and-forth-brain. This is when she just can’t make up her mind with the dress to wear, because she has tried on 50 different ones and maybe cried when she wore 20 of them. This is when she keeps on changing her centerpieces because after she thinks she has made a decision, she finds herself on pinterest and sees something else. Pretty much, making a decision is a hard task for many brides but those with short engagements seem to overcome this easily. Some people are also more productive under time “pressure” so for those kind of brides to pull off the weddings of their dreams, a shorter engagement may be what gets them ticking.
But with all that “go-getter-I’m-on-top-of-my-decision-making-ness” I just explained above, let’s not pretend like a short engagement weddings don’t come with their own challenges. With the way the wedding industry is set up, short engagement weddings are not the “norm”. Many vendors operate based on a longer amount of time to plan, so a short engagement may throw them a bit off balance and that would most likely cost. For the wedding dress, a short engagement bride may have to look harder than an average bride to find a dress that is within her time frame since many of the shops tell you to expect your dress at an average of 6 months. So such a bride has to be extra tactful in finding that one store who has her right dress in store at the moment and is ready to let that sample go. This is also true for venues and photographers since they all get booked way ahead of time.
Another area of challenge would be for your guests. Just like the vendors need more time, your guests would probably do so too. Depending on your location, the day, the time (Do they need to take time off work, do they need to buy a flight ticket, etc), some guests may find attending such a wedding challenging and might have no other choice but to decline.
Dealing with the Invitation
So how do you prepare for the guests? If you were a guest who got an invitation 3 weeks to a wedding, be totally honest, how would you feel? Except if gotten prior notice, you would probably feel like you were B, C or even Z-listed to that wedding! Not a good feeling. So for brides to avoid their guest feeling his way, we do advise that word of mouth be used before the formal invitations follow. Normally word of mouth plays a role in most weddings but for a short engagement wedding, it should be applied with an even higher degree.
While many may frown on technology with invitation, it could be encouraged to take the e-invite routes in such situations. These eliminate the shipping/delivery time and other possible delay that come with making and sending out invitations. For a bride who insists on having paper invitations, an e-save the date idea with paper invitations to follow might also be another option. The whole point is to get the guests enough time to get ready for the wedding.
Handling the Costs
There is something about short engagement weddings that has a ring of “small and intimate” to it. And this might be what many could read as a more affordable wedding option. It may be because it is assumed that if a couple is planning such a wedding they may want only close family and friends and that means a smaller guest list and in many cases lesser dollars to spend. However not all short engagement weddings may really be more affordable.
With a short engagement wedding, a couple should take into consideration that vendors would likely charge “rush” fees for their products. Like mentioned above, wedding vendors plan mostly with a longer time frame so a short engagement wedding might make them have to make changes and these changes could cost a lot more. Again, this is mostly seen with wedding dresses, venues and photographers (which make up a chunk of the wedding dollars)
So for a bride with a short engagement, a few options to save would be;
- Budget: Plan the money wisely. After reading this post make room for the possible “rush” fees you may end up paying.
- DIY: You may need to DIY more with such a wedding. However know when the draw the line between DIY-ing and having a Pro handle it.
- Guest list: To offset all the costs that come with planning a wedding under a short time, one may need to have a smaller guest list to stay within budget.
- Wedding Dresses: Look for dresses that could ship within your short time frame or start looking for dresses already in the stores.
- Location: Be creative with the location. If you can’t get that hotel you love because it has been booked 2 years in advance, start thinking of making your own location. Think, Family barn, backyard, etc.
Fun Fact/ Question of the Day: Until I read the book, Hitched In A Hurry where a girl planned her wedding in 10 days, Amanda’s 7 week engagement was the shortest I had heard of. How about you? What’s the shortest engagement period you have heard of?
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Thanks to Karley, the author of Hitched In A Hurry who made this #WeddingChatter more awesome with her perfect co-hosting skills! Join us (knotsvilla) on Twitter, every Friday at 3 pm est for more fun and informative wedding discussions