Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Last-Minute Wedding Planning

Some couples begin planning their weddings years prior to the event. Some put it off slightly longer (What are you doing in 3 weeks?!). Either method requires adaptability and communication in the weeks leading up to the affair, as even the best-laid plans can fall to the wayside in the face of a change in a major element of the wedding. If you remain calm and take things one step at a time, you will walk down the aisle a sane individual regardless of the obstacles that immediately precede the momentous occasion. Take a deep breath and begin with these tips:

Hire a wedding planner - If your budget permits, experienced planners are worth the money as they have the connections and knowledge that would cost you hours of research and leg work to match - hours that you may not have in a last-minute planning situation. If you can't hire a planner, gather recommendations from your other vendors as you hire them. After all, they are also industry insiders.

Start with your venue - After the ability to accommodate your guest count, the number of details that can be taken care of in-house at a venue should be a high-priority consideration in a crunch. Save time, gas and cell phone minutes by booking a full-service venue that includes the basics, such as tables, chairs, essential linens, catering and bar service.

Enlist loved ones - Ask the friends and family members with whom you have a calm working relationship and similar taste to help you out. Did you love your BFF's wedding design? Let her know your budget, color scheme and basic floral needs, introduce her to your florist, and let them surprise you with the decor!

Call and email immediately - Tradition and etiquette dictate that you send a formal wedding invitation via the good old USPS, but a more modern approach will be necessary to get the word out quickly in the case of a fast-approaching date or last-minute changes to locations and times that may have already been communicated to guests via formal invitation. You can follow up with a formal invitation per tradition, but give your guests as much time as possible to make their travel plans, babysitting arrangements and wardrobe decisions.

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