Week 10 - The parents drag me off my finals-induced coma to look at reception venues. We make calls to find out who's got slots available the last few weeks of July/first few weeks of august, so I can slide this thing in before classes start up again.
Week 9 - Somehow the church, our schedules, and a reception venue cosmically align to be available on the same date. We put down a deposit. Mom & Dad state what they're contributing to this things so we have a budget idea, which helps to determine headcount.
Week 8 - Meet with church wedding coordinator to determine times, pick out paper and template for invites, register at Target, start bridesmaids looking for their own dresses with the guideline, "It should be blue-ish or something". MOH leads this particular aspect of the campaign. Take a vacation day on Friday to buy a wedding dress. I went to three places looking for dresses, and the first one had the one I really liked, so really this could have just taken an hour instead of all day.
Week 7 - Invitation week. Get everything drafted and printed up by Thursday, and then meet with FMIL for addressing and assembly help. Printing stuff happens after work, address-gathering happens, well, during. Register at Bed Bath and Beyond. The Man picked out his tuxedos.
Week 6 - Almost burnt the whole pile of invites after a fight with parents, but opt instead to mail them. Met with bridesmaids, who'd gotten their dresses, for a revue. Stole a dress to meet with florist #1. Registered at sears. Dad snaps a picture of us outside the church to send to newspapers. Assure friends who got invites that no, I am not pregnant, we just wanted to minimize our time in Wedding Planning World.
Week 5 - Canoe trip. Did manage to sneak in a meeting with florist #2, which inspired me to book florist #1. E-mailed MOH with invite list in case she wants to throw me a pre-party.
Week 4 - July 4th week, but somewhere in there we met with our pastor for pre-marital counseling and a photographer who we, incidentally enough, met on the canoe trip last week. I also ordered shoes & cocktail napkins.
Week 3 - Met with our DJ on Tuesday, pastor on Wednesday, the cake lady on Thursday, parents on Saturday (to decide seating arrangements). The man books honeymoon stuff like a crazy person.
Week 2 - Hair trial. Print the backs of table cards, because we're using cute symbols. Bug people for RSVPs. Meet with ceremony musicians. Return shoes that didn't work out.
Week 1 - I'm going to an airplane festival all week.
Week 0 - meet with DJ for the final time. End of the week: Get married!
So in conclusion, all those bridal magazines that flaunt a six month planning period as crazy just don't know what they're talking about! We're surviving... not married yet, but things are really coming together! And you'd be surprised how people just roll with it; sure the tux shop would like to have all measurements in 8 weeks ahead of time, but they also say that it never really happens, so many people wait until the last minute it's almost refreshing to have someone like us who starts at the last minute, that way there are no pretenses.
A few other notes that helped us...
- The venue is almost a luck thing, if you can't get that booked you're doomed and that's okay. It really was cosmic alignment that got us our date.
- You have to book the venue before you can print invites, and you have to mail invites six weeks out. Those are just hard deadlines that make me thing ten weeks really is the minimum, if you want a traditional wedding.
- I was able to buy a wedding dress straight off the rack because I wear an 8 or 10... again, luck.
- My wedding workout plan went out the window as soon as things got crazy. I will not have the best looking arms/back that I dreamed of. But who's counting?
- We obviously skipped save the dates, formal engagement shots, reception favors (well, might have skipped those anyway), matching shoes for the bridesmaids, ice sculptures, etc.
- okay, more things we were skipping anyway: cake serving set, toasting flutes, engagement ring, pew bows... you name it, we cut it.
- I feel like I have no life. I didn't know it would get to that, but it has. turns out planning a wedding does consume things.
- My parents freaked out all the time around weeks, well, all of them, because they're hosting this and are scared it's not coming together. there was at least one screaming fight on the phone, and several other near-misses. and not just me! the future husband had a good one with his folks too! but we relied on each other during those times, and admitted that even if this is bringing out the worst in our families, we are going to be our own family unit together after all this is over and it'll make up for all of that. he was my rock through any and all drama encountered during this thing.
- We were counting on a friend of ours being the DJ and he totally let us down by wanting major funds and being somewhat unprofessional about it, sorry to say. The DJ has been a saga. But the photographer we stumbled upon... awesome! Just know that you will sometimes luck out, and sometimes not luck out, but there's so much going on I think it evens out.
So yup. Besides helping out anyone else doing a fast wedding, I also wanted to use this post to assure everyone that no matter what your timeline is, it will feel like you're behind. Go with it. Keep making a phone call or two or five a day and don't let anyone tell you that you're not doing it right. We wanted attendance of 100 people, sent out 90 invites (=180 people) to make up for the fact that we didn't do save-the-dates and people would already have plans, and you know what? We're going to have about 120 at this shindig. Everybody just rolls with it. Don't sweat the small stuff.