Coffee With Calluna :: Planning a Quick Wedding

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Wednesday, April 26

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Today we are mixing things up and doing a little bit of much needed #coffeetalk instead of taking questions. Some of you may have seen on social media that we were brought on for a wedding that needed to be planned in two weeks. This is the quickest wedding we have ever planned, (the quickest prior to now was three weeks). Because some of you have been asking, “how do you plan a wedding so fast?”, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to offer some insight into planning a wedding or event in a short amount of time.

In some circumstances, weddings need to be planned quickly, whether because of an illness in the family, you just simply can’t wait to tie the knot, or another reason. The average engagement is now 15 months so a quickly planned wedding in two weeks, two months or even four months is not for the faint of heart, and it can be incredibly time consuming and stressful for you and your fiancee. However, if you are ready to take it on, it can be done. Here are some important tips for planning a wedding on a tight timeline.

xo, Calluna

Ps. Follow along on Instagram this weekend to see our two-week wedding come to life!

  • Hire A Wedding Planner

For the past ten days we have been cramming one month of planning into a day! From choosing a venue (and venues for rehearsal dinner, welcome parties, brunches) to selecting vendors this task on a normal timeline is daunting. But with short notice you not only have to find out availability you have to know that these vendors will literally clear their schedules to work with you in the week or weeks to get the job done. So we may be a bit biased on this one, but hiring a wedding planner is absolutely essential. Planning a wedding in general can be incredibly tough, but planning one in a short amount of time can be even tougher. Hiring a wedding planner can not only relieve unnecessary stress, but your wedding planner will know exactly how to communicate with your vendors, and create a timeline that will allow the day to run smoothly.

Photo Credit | Sarah Hasstedt Photography

  • Bring on the Best Vendors

This might seem counter intuitive – how do you choose the best vendors on such a short notice. What if they aren’t available? How do you get to know your couple that quickly? Our two-week out couple has incredibly great taste and impeccable style! So it’s been a bit of a challenge (but one we were so excited for) to find vendors that met their expectations and could provide the quality they wanted in such a short amount of time. It’s been sort of like speed dating – you have to learn as much as you can about their needs, style and vision and then GO! You might say, well, beggars can’t be choosers as the saying goes – and trust us, we’ve said that a few times the past ten days, but in the end we kept offering options until our couple was over the moon happy. With this experience under our belts we believe that you should be able to get almost exactly what you want, even if it’s in a short time frame. It might not be the exact thing our couple would have done had we had nine months, but we believe if you hire an experienced wedding planner they will be able to navigate the vendors and not only find the best who are available on your day but will do so with ease!

In the case of quickly planned nuptials, you will be have to be incredibly trusting of your vendors. You may not have the time to do the cake tasting, or meet your DJ in person, so picking the best of the best is key. You want to choose vendors that work well together, that know your venue space, and have fabulous reviews.

Photo Credit | Alison Vagnini Photography

  • Be Clear about your Priorities & Budget

A quickly planned wedding will force you to be more decisive than you would normally have to be, so going into the planning process with clear priorities about your big day and budget will be incredibly helpful. If you know that food is your top priority, dedicate ample time to finding a caterer that suits your ideals. In terms of budget, be aware that last minute planning doesn’t always mean discounts. Sometimes vendors have to charge rush fee’s or bring on extra staff for your event. Because of this, being extra sure of where you want to spend your money is critical!

  • Be prepared to clear your schedule

This past week we’ve dedicated hours each day with our couple as we planned a month of to-do’s into a single day. Our couple has done the same. Their case is a bit rare, but they’ve likely had to clear their schedule of work and all other responsibilities and focus on choosing vendors, signing contracts, placing deposits, making decisions and changing minds and checking things off the list. At the end of each day we’ve sent them a recap and a to-do list that sometimes has 60 items on it. This is where planning on a short time frame is not for the faint of heart. Not only do you have to be decisive you need to have hours in your day to dedicate to the planning.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff

Planning a wedding in a short amount of time means vendors might not be available or if they are might not be able to order your favorite flower in time, or might not be able to get the specialty item you want served in the menu (although you would be surprised at what you can pull off in two weeks with hard work and four hours of sleep!). It also means not all your guests will be able to travel…although our wedding this weekend started out with 30 guests and now they have 80 guests flying in to celebrate with them! If there are things that are absolute musts focus on those but let the rest go.

  • Say thank you

The past week our couple repeatedly signs texts and emails or ends calls with, “thank you for all you are doing”. And we’ve been trying to tell our creative partners how much we appreciate them. And I’ve been telling my staff that I truly couldn’t plan this wedding without them. A little appreciation goes a long way no matter if you have two weeks or 12 months to plan! There are so many vendors involved this weekend and we cannot thank them enough – Catering by Design, Eclectic Hive, Yonder Floral + Design, Blanc, Sacred Thistle, Ink + Root, Julie Harris Photography, Coohills, White Lies, Cooper Lounge, Crawford Hotel, Peak Beverage, VooDoo Donuts, Masterful Musicians, Wynkoop, Ashley Smith Beauty, Event Rents we are forever grateful for clearing your schedules and dedicating your time to make this all happen.

  • Take deep breaths and relax!

This goes if you are planning on a short time frame or longer out. Try to take moments to breathe deep, go for a hike, enjoy your partner and remember why you are getting married. In the midst of planning this past weekend our couple told us that their friends rallied and threw them bachelor and bachelorette parties – their friends literally had four days to plan! Now that’s true friendship. So try to remember to enjoy the process. And while we still have two more days of planning we hope our couple will turn over the reigns to us come Friday, as we want all of our couples to do, and sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor and let us handle the rest!

Featured Image: Bridget Burnett Photography

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