Planning a Virginia wedding on short notice? Maybe you’ve always wanted a short engagement, you want to have your wedding in a specific season, or your original plans fell through. No matter the reason, take a deep breath and know it can be done! Here are our tips on how to plan a wedding in 3 months or less, based on our experience as a Northern Virginia wedding venue. In fact, we’ve hosted weddings planned in as little as 2 weeks!
Here’s how you do it:
FIND AN OFFICIANT FIRST
Virginia has strict rules about who can legally marry people, which means a licensed officiant can be hard to find on short notice. Make this your first priority. After all, the most important thing is that you’re actually married at the end of the day!
ASK FOR HELP
When you’re on a tight timeline, we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator who can keep you on track. Your planner can also save you time by recommending solutions that work best within a short planning period.
Another major benefit of hiring a planner is gaining access to their contacts. Because of their strong relationships across the industry, an established planner may be able to connect you with vendors who wouldn’t otherwise accept clients on short notice.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to family or close friends either! You may be surprised how many people are happy to help! If you’re detail-oriented, you may be reluctant to hand off control. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re happy with the results: Choose people who have similar taste to you, hand off details you don’t have strong opinions about, give specific instructions or inspiration images, or ask them to provide you with a few options you can choose from.
SCALE DOWN YOUR GUEST LIST
Consider an elopement or micro wedding. Smaller weddings are much easier to plan within a short timeframe. First, you’ll have more flexibility on venues that can accommodate your guests. Second, services like arranging flowers take less time for just a few tables than for 20, so your vendors may be more willing to squeeze you in. 48 Fields offers elopement packages and micro wedding packages that include all the important components for your perfect day.
When trying to plan a wedding in 3 months or less, the key is to make quick decisions. While you may want to find and interview every possible vendor in each category, you don’t have time for that. Protect your mental health by accepting that you won’t be able to vet every option. This is where shortcuts come in handy. Do you have friends or coworkers who have gotten married in the area? Ask who they used, whether they did good work, and if they can connect you.
The other reality of a short timeline is that you likely won’t get your first choice of vendors. Many vendors typically book up to a year in advance. Try not to get attached to any individual vendor before you know whether they are available on your date.
Consider having your wedding on Sunday or a weekday. Saturday dates often book up over a year in advance, especially during spring and fall. If you have your eye on a specific venue, other days of the week are your best bet to find a date on short notice.
You may also need to be flexible when it comes to the look and feel of your day. Although your planner will do their very best to make all of your dreams come true, you may need to make some adjustments. When it comes to rentals, the chiavari chairs or farmhouse tables you pictured might already reserved for other events. Before booking any rentals, be sure to check out our Something Borrowed Collection, which is available to 48 Fields couples at no extra cost.
If you choose to wear a wedding dress, you will be choosing from a more limited selection. Ordering a wedding dress from a salon typically takes at least 4 to 6 months. While it may be possible to place a rush order, consider reliable online retailers that have your size in stock, like BHLDN or David’s Bridal, or buy a dress second-hand from one of the many sites dedicated to reselling wedding dresses.
FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS MOST
It is completely possible to plan a wedding in 3 months or less! If you maintain realistic expectations, get creative, and recruit some help, you can get it all done! If you start stressing about the details, remember that at the end of the day you will be married! That’s true no matter how large your guest count, what color the napkins, or whether you’re at a castle or in your backyard. When it’s all over, the details you’ll remember are the look on your partner’s face when you see each other at the ceremony, the moment you say “I do,” and the feeling of being absolutely surrounded by love as you celebrate starting your new life together.
48 Fields Farm is a Leesburg VA barn wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.
Our countryside barn and vast fields are peacefully set in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country.