How I Planned My Last Minute Wedding | Planner to Planning

December 30, 2020 by Just Marry!

How I Planned My Last Minute Wedding | Planner to Planning

As I learned myself this year, last minute wedding planning is not for the faint of heart! There is undoubtedly a lot of stress and emotions that accompany the joy of planning a wedding on an accelerated timeline. For me, all of the above went into planning my wedding in a short 10 days!

I know…crazy, right!? How can someone possibly plan a wedding in 10 days?

To be honest, there were a lot of tears, but after I put on my big girl pants and tied my hair into a messy bun, I got to business and got it done. I also had the help of some wonderful wedding vendors, including Taylored Photo Memories, Peachy Keen Unions, Cactus Collective Weddings, and Bottiglia Cucina Enoteca. HUGE thanks go out to all of them!

So, if you’re facing a similar timeline as me, read on to learn how I managed to stay organized and plan a last minute wedding!

MY ENGAGEMENT STORY

To start, let me share a little bit about our engagement. My then-boyfriend, Trevor, and I had been dating for seven years before we went on a trip to Alaska together in mid-September. He decided to surprise me on our last day there with a helicopter ride to a glacier. It was beyond amazing and beautiful. Little did I know that he planned to propose!

So, there I was, in the middle of nowhere on a giant ice cube saying “YES!” to the man of my dreams. There were lots of happy tears and quite possibly a happy dance or two!

Last Minute Wedding - Engagement
Last Minute Wedding - Engagement

WHY I PLANNED A LAST MINUTE WEDDING

My situation was outside the norm. Trevor had recently decided to join the Army, and he wanted to get married before he left for basic training. I quickly did the calculations and realized we had less than one month until then. My brain immediately went into Planner Mode!

If you’re faced with a similar situation, don’t feel like you need to choose a courthouse wedding. You can still have your dream wedding even on a crunched timeline! Here’s how I did it.

#1 - I Created a Last Minute Planning Checklist

It’s so important regardless of your planning timeline to make sure you take time to enjoy the newly-engaged couple bliss. Go ahead and call your family and friends and tell them the good news! Share your excitement! Be over the moon happy because you’re engaged!

Then it’s time to start planning. For me, this was the day after our engagement on our flight back home. I had my fiancé’s full attention for a couple hours, so once our flight took off, we started to create a planning checklist.

Luckily, as a wedding planner myself, I knew what needed to be on our personal wedding planning checklist. You can find a similar checklist here! I recommend creating a checklist first so you can prioritize tasks that most need your attention. It’s also important to discuss your wedding budget with your future spouse!

#2 - We Got Our Marriage License

Depending on where you’re getting married, make sure you research how to apply for a marriage license. Our team has done the initial legwork for our Florida couples and created this handy guide to getting a Florida marriage license. There will likely be similar guides for your destination if you’re not getting married in Florida.

If there’s time, apply for your marriage license eight weeks in advance since there is often a waiting period. You’ll need your marriage license in-hand to give to your officiant the day of your wedding if not sooner!

#3 - We Chose Our Ceremony Location

If you’re planning a last minute wedding, focus on booking a location as soon as possible. Once your location is booked, you can then move on to all the other services you’ll need, like an officiant, floral, photography, etc.

With only ten days until our wedding date, I needed to find and book a venue right away so I could move on with my planning. Again…crazy, right!? Typically, I would want at least two weeks to visualize, two weeks to research, and another week to decide exactly which venue would be perfect for us. Instead, I had two days.

After researching, we decided to get married at El Dorado Dry Lake in Las Vegas. ‘Cause why not get married in the desert when we got engaged on a glacier, am I right? We love the outdoors, and this location was absolutely perfect for our ceremony!

Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories

#4 - We Invited Our Guests

Due to our short engagement and wedding only a few days away, ordering and sending invitations wasn’t feasible. Instead, we kept the guest list small and personally called our family members to invite them to our wedding. This was a wonderful alternative to sending out invitations because it allowed us to share our excitement with them. If you’re planning a last minute wedding but still want to send invitations, consider printing or handwriting your own. This will save you time and add a personal touch!

#5 - We Bought Our Wedding Attire

My favorite part of planning my last minute wedding was the wedding dress shopping! I originally planned to go to my bridal appointment alone since my family lives out of town, but Trevor surprised me by arranging to have my mom, sister, and future mother-in-law accompany me! It was an emotional roller coaster of a week. I was so ecstatic to have them help me pick out my dream wedding dress!

If you’re planning a last minute wedding, check out retail outlets where wedding dresses are typically well-stocked with a variety of options and sizes for any budget. If you have a bridal party, you can also find some great bridesmaid dress options at these locations. Be sure to plan ahead and book an appointment with an expert at the bridal store so that you can have an extra pair of hands helping you find your bridal style. With a last minute wedding, you’ll want all hands on deck!

The pressure of finding a dress with the wedding only six days away was almost too overwhelming, but thankfully I had encouraging and supportive ladies to help me out. I was able to find the perfect dress for my desert wedding, and later Trevor and I picked out his wedding day attire too. Everything was falling into place…but we weren’t done yet!

Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories

#6 - Extra but Necessary

With less than five days until our wedding, I focused on our reception venue, floral, photography, and videography. We knew when we made our checklist that these service were essential! Often, caterers require booking in advance, so we decided to have our reception at a restaurant near our ceremony location. We were able to find a place we loved only 15 minutes away with a set menu for our guests. We booked a private room so we could celebrate without the noise and hustle and bustle from the other guests.

Next, I booked my bridal bouquet and Trevor’s boutonniere. Since our wedding party consisted of a ring bearer and flower girl with no other bridesmaids or groomsmen, we kept our ceremony floral to a minimum. We did splurge a little on a floral arbor since we wanted to have a centralized focal point in the desert. This detail turned out beautifully and was my favorite décor piece at our ceremony!

Last but not least, we booked our photographer and videographer, Las Vegas locals with a lot of experience shooting in El Dorado Dry Lake Bed. We had a specific vision of what we wanted our wedding photos and video to look like, and they executed them perfectly!

CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE WEDDING PICS

Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories
Last Minute Wedding - Just Marry Weddings - Taylored Photo Memories

MORE LAST MINUTE WEDDING PLANNING TIPS

Just Between Us! features lots of helpful content, whether you’re planning a last minute wedding or you have a traditional timeline! Check out some of our previous posts for more tips and inspiration:

JOIN THE JUST MARRY! FAMILY

We’d love to welcome you to the Just Marry! family! If you’re planning a last minute wedding or would like to speak with one of our planners, simply complete the form below or email us at info@justmarry.com and we’ll get back to you right away. We’d love to create the perfect planning experience for you!

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How I Planned My Last Minute Wedding | Planner to Planning

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