Friday, December 14, 2007

How to plan a wedding in 10 days...

My soon to be dear hubby and I will be getting married a week from tomorrow. We've been together for almost 10 years and were just wee children when we started dating (freshman year of college). A couple of weeks ago, the stars aligned and we decided to get married! All the important people in our lives were going to be in town at the same time and we figured, why wait? After all, we've been together for so long it's not like anybody is surprised. In fact, "it's about time" has been the most common response received.

Of course, planning a wedding in such a short time frame is a completely different thing from having a standard year or so to figure everything out. Personally, I've been loving the fact that I don't have time to stress over the details that drive many brides nuts in the months leading up to the big day. While my wedding planning is coming to a close, I had to share the things that I've learned.

Here's 10 tips on how to plan a wedding in 10 days!!

1) Decide where you want the ceremony and reception to take place and how big you want the guest list to be. It's probably easier to keep it small and restrict it to close friends and family. This also increases your venue options as you can perhaps have it at someone's house, in a park (check permit restrictions), or a multitude of other places that mean something special to the two of you. If you are deciding to have a reception after the ceremony, check out whether the venue that you are choosing for the ceremony has a reception space or if you would need to move to a different location. Keeping the guest list small also means you won't offend anybody who isn't invited.

2) Make an appointment to go dress shopping straight away. Dresses usually take 6-8 weeks to order in, so keep in mind that you will probably have to buy something off the rack. Places like David's Bridal do alterations and cleaning on site, so that can be very valuable when you're short on time. Also, check for bridal sections at stores - such as Nordstrom, JC Penney, and even Target! Don't forget to bring your girlfriends with you for opinions, and if the store will let you take pics, do so (most bridal boutiques won't, but the bigger chain stores generally don't have a problem with this.

3) Start researching rings. If you're deciding to get married on the spur of the moment, he may not have had time to get you an engagement ring. Firstly, decide what your budget is, then call around friends and family to see if somebody has a jeweler that they trust - they will often be able to give you a bigger and better diamond for the same price or less than mall jewelers. Read up on your 4 Cs of diamonds and you'll need the information in your head when talking to a diamond jeweler!

4) Figure out who you want to have officiate the ceremony. Approach the minister or rabbi as soon as possible to make sure they are available. If you had your eye on a specific church or temple but the date isn't available, check to see if the minister or rabbi would be available to do the ceremony at a different location. If you are planning on having a friend marry you, who was ordained online, call the county clerk's office to make sure that they will consider that person a legal officiant.

5) Once you have figured out the where and when, find a caterer as soon as possible. It's generally easier to find a caterer at short notice when you're getting married "off season" but again, try local restaurants and such to see if they offer a catering service - you don't need to rely on traditional wedding caterers for your event! Also, caterers often offer the option to rent table linens etc., so don't forget to ask if they can make those available to you.

6) Investigate the requirements for a marriage license where you need to go to file for one. For example: in Los Angeles, the application for a marriage license can be submitted online. You then have to go with your partner to the county clerk's office, who will print your marriage license (valid for 90 days) and give you the information you need for marriage certificate filing. I suggest going early morning when the office first opens as you'll be there and out before long lines build up!

7) Think about your ceremony and vows. Web sites, such as are excellent resources for vows from different religions, including non-denominational or mixed religion ceremonies. Once you've figured out the basic structure of your ceremony, you can then look for readings that are special to you as a couple, as well as finding hundreds of beautiful love quotes and poems online. You may want to ask a couple of guests to do these readings during the ceremony to give it a personal touch. Also, pick a couple of songs that mean a lot to both of you for the aisle processional and recessional. Whether it be religious, classical or contemporary music, it is the perfect way to set the mood.

8) Think about decorations. You will probably want to keep it simple and decide on some basic but effective accents to decorate your ceremony and reception. Flowers and candles make a simple but beautiful statement, and can also be done quite inexpensively. Check out your local farmer's market for flowers that you can put together yourself. Votives and tea lights are also inexpensive at many chain stores. Places like Michaels and other craft stores have tons of wedding items should you decide to do place settings, favors, or get vases/bowls for center pieces.

9) Instead of going for a huge tiered cake, see if a local bakery can do a decorated sheet cake for you. Also, find out what notice they need to make it. I'm lucky that my favorite local bakery can do a decorated cake in the flavors of my choice (white cake and fresh strawberries) for me with 4 days notice for $50. It's quite the steal and I'd never have eaten a frozen top tier of a wedding cake anyway!

10) Invitations are a wonderful keepsake, and even if you end up just calling everybody to give them the news and tell them when to show up, they may want an invitation to put on their fridge anyway! Office Depot carries a whole line of printable wedding invitations, which come in a pack with RSVP cards, pretty seals, and matching envelopes. As you probably don't have the time to get your invitations professionally printed, take some time to design them on your computer - pick the fonts and wording that you like, then make sure you print the test sheet before you start on the real ones!


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so excited for you! My fiance and I have both been married before, and have been thinking about eloping sometime soon... so this post was very near and dear to me as well! Congrats hun, and be sure to post photos after your special day!

I love that your wedding will be small and simple, after all... it's supposed to be about YOU, not making everyone else happy, which unfortunately happens all too often. Kudos, hugs, congrats, and many blessings!
♥ Janell

Anonymous said...

nice tips, it is good advice
Wedding Bridal

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I'm very happy to find this article and learn some useful things about wedding.It'll be quite helpful to my wedding.Thx!