8 Essential Tips to Plan a Wedding in 90 Days
Photo: Alyssa Tsuchiya Photography
Whether you have a deadline you need to beat or are just too excited to wait any longer, the idea of planning a wedding in just three months can be intimidating, but it can be done! Your Fairy Godmother has arrived and that fairy is actually a large building complete with everything you need and the staff to make it possible! (We’re still working on our wings and magic wand, check back soon.) Here at NOAH’S, our goal is to make pulling off the perfect wedding on a short timeline easy. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips that will make the 90-day build-up to your wedding as simple and stress-free as possible. No time to waste! Let’s get to it.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Photo: Lulu Lopez Kids Photography
Your initial reaction to this first tip may be “but I can’t afford it” or “I’m sure I can handle it myself,” but we recommend taking another look before you write it off. Do your research on local wedding planners, they may not be as expensive as you think, and often the amount of weight a planner takes off your shoulders is more than worth it. If you are unsure where to start, give a call to your local NOAH’S, and we would be happy to recommend a few planners that we love. Wedding planners are gurus that are well versed in local vendors and can help you find the ones that will work best with your tastes and timeline. If you are still intimidated, consider asking a design-minded family member or friend to help out in exchange for cookies or dinner. What is most important is to delegate tasks so that you don’t have to take it all on yourself.
Pick a Theme Early
Photo: Something New Productions
You’re going to be making a lot of decisions in the next 90 days, and you don’t have time to waffle between color schemes. Do your research and look around for things that you like. Check out our NOAH’S Blog for pictures and descriptions of weddings all around the country, or look through our NOAH’S Pinterest for thematic inspiration or style ideas. Once you have a few ideas, sit down with your partner as early as possible to decide what you want your wedding to feel like and why. Because of your short timeline, you may not always be able to get exactly what you first pictured. That’s okay! Don’t get caught up in the little details. Keep that initial spark of why you fell in love with your theme and let everything else flow from that. Remember that what is most important is that you are marrying the love of your life, and everything else is just the icing on the cake.
Book a Venue That Will Make It Easy for You
Your venue is one of the biggest factors when it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams. Booking a venue on a short timeline may seem challenging because, chances are, a lot of weekends are going to be booked out months in advance. However, most venues will have openings within your timeline on weekdays. There are actually a lot of benefits to having your wedding on a weekday. We wrote a whole blog post about it here.
Beyond just availability, choose a venue that will take care of as many details as possible for you so that you don’t have to worry about them. Here at NOAH’S, we will take care of the set up and take down of the tables and chairs, and you can also add a ceiling decor package to make your ceremony and reception beautiful without you lifting a finger. NOAH’S also has decor options such as lanterns and customizable accent lighting to help set the perfect tone for your big day. Here at NOAH’S, we’re proud to provide a beautiful space that doesn’t require too much extra decoration to hide the spots you may not like.
Finally, when you choose a large venue like NOAH’S you won’t have to worry about coordinating between different places. Simplicity is key. You can have your wedding party get ready in one of the various dressing rooms before the festivities begin, and then have your ceremony and reception all in the same location. Let the friendly staff take care of any details in prepping the various rooms while you relax and soak in the big day.
Choosing a venue that will make your day as stress-free as possible by taking care of the details is key to planning a wedding in just 3 months and is the first thing you should secure in order to make your big day possible.
Find a Photographer
Photo: Alicia Lucia Photography
After making sure you have a place for the “I Dos” to go down, your next big decision is a photographer. Once again, many will likely be booked out months in advance. Not to worry! Just like with your venue, you are likely to have better luck if you are looking for a weekday. Instagram is a great way to find photographers who match the aesthetic you want for your wedding, so skim through your local options and contact the ones that seem the most promising as early as possible.
Get the Word out Quick
Photo: Kaila Cales Photography
You’re getting married in 90 days, and that means you don’t have time to wait for your invitations to be designed, letters to be mailed, and RSVPs to come back. People need to know about the big day as soon as possible. One option we recommend is to create a Facebook event and invite everyone you would like to attend as soon as you have the date and venue secured. While this may not feel as official, it will allow you to get an initial count of who will be attending and also give people a head’s up. Your loved ones need time to arrange travel, get off of work, schedule childcare, find gifts, and get ready to celebrate your big day with you. NOAH’S can help with some of these. Our locations are easy to get to, and we have multiple rooms that can be set up to entertain children during the event if needed. (We wrote a whole blog about how to do that here!) If Facebook won’t work for everyone on your list, you can also send out emails, texts, or calls.
After the initial save the date invite, you’ll want to get your official invitations in the mail as quickly as possible. One option is to work with vendors who can build you a beautiful design from a pre-made template and send them out with short printing times. This will not only allow you to get the word out quickly but will probably save you a bit of cash over something customized.
Buy Off the Rack
Photo: Megan Kay Photography
Whether it’s the dress of your dreams, the perfect classy tux, or a one of a kind show-stopping look in between, what you wear for your big day matters. All eyes are going to be on you and your partner, and you want to be dressed to the nines and feeling fine.
Many looks will require a few months to order in from the designer or warehouse and often at least another month on top of that for alterations or tailoring, which, let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for—at least, not when their wedding is in less than 90 days! Consider hunting down sample sales or asking the boutique if you can buy this particular item off the rack. Keep in mind that you will probably only have time for minor alterations, if anything at all, so look for something that fits as it is. This, once again, will save you money and ensure that you get your million dollar look in time for your big day.
You and your partner aren’t the only ones who need to look the part. If you chose to have bridesmaids, consider letting them pick their own dresses within your color scheme. Mixing styles of dresses can create a fun, dynamic look for your bridal party. This style also means that you don’t have to worry about getting your bridesmaids together to try on dresses, finding one everyone agrees on, and ordering them in the right sizes. Instead, your bridesmaids can go at their own convenience to pick out their looks, and you get to enjoy looking fabulous along with your best friends.
Be Flexible on Food
Photo: The Wood’s Weddings
Food is a big deal for your big day. Luckily, a lot of caterers don’t require as much notice as many of the other big items for your wedding, so you can be a little more choosy here. Call around to your favorite local restaurants to see if they offer catering options. However, be sure to check with your venue, as some won’t allow you to bring in your favorite places. Here at NOAH’S, we have an open vendor policy. If you like a restaurant, you can bring them in! Is a fancy, large meal not your thing? Maybe a simple homemade dish or finger foods will work just as well for you.
If you are looking for a 3-tiered, customized, show-stopping cake, you may need to consider other options or get on it FAST. Many bakeries require more notice than three months. If you have your heart set on a big cake, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask! Call around to your local bakeries, explain your situation, and see what they can offer. However, maybe you aren’t the traditional cake type. Unique desserts—everything from cupcakes, donuts, cookie bars, ice cream sundaes, and just about any other sweet treat you can imagine—are growing in popularity for weddings. Changing up your desserts is a great way to make your wedding unique and personal, as well as will give you more options for your short timeline.
Delegate the Details
Photo: Kelsey Diana Photography
Many hands make light work, and you are surrounded by people who would love to help, so take advantage of that! Got a friend who is an organizational wizard? Ask them to help create a schedule leading up to the big day. Have a cousin with a taste for music? Get their recommendations for local DJs. Is your mom an expert on all the family drama dynamics? Ask her to make a rough draft of a seating chart. Delegate simple tasks that your friends and family can help with. This way, they get to be involved in the wedding and you get to take a few things off of your plate. Our one caveat here is to always make sure to have loved ones leave the final decision up to you. It is your big day, after all.
If you can make decisions quickly, get some help, and work hard, you can craft your dream wedding day in just 90 days. The NOAH’S family would love to take care of some of the details (like magic)! Give us a call to schedule a tour today.