How do you plan a wedding in four and a half months?  And why would you want too?  My now husband surprised me with a marriage proposal whilst we were on holiday in Lombok on 7 November 2013.  Being the super organised person that I am, I started planning straight away and we made the crazy decision that we’d get married on the anniversary of our first date, Sunday 23 March 2014, some 4.5 months away.  What were we thinking??!!

Luckily, I found the dress of my dreams online whilst in Lombok which as every girl knows, is the most important decision.  Fast forward two weeks and I was back in Perth, dress shopping.  I couldn’t get into the shop that had my dream dress but I just happened to be driving passed, so I popped in to have a look.  All the time thinking to myself “If it’s a $3,000 dress, it’s too much and I can’t buy it”.  As luck would have it, the dress was on sale AND in my price range, my size and the last one ever to be stocked.  Naturally I bought it as it was clearly meant for me.

Next was the venue.  We decided that we wanted a relaxed, outdoor wedding ceremony with the reception overlooking the Indian Ocean so we could watch the sunset.  Much to fiancé’s disgust, I booked regular afternoon appointments for a week to check venues along the coast for our reception.  Three weeks after getting engaged, multiple viewings later and the reception venue was confirmed as The Blue Duck in Cottesloe.  It turned out to be a great reception location to watch the sun set from the balcony.

Getting the right photographer was really important to us.  We wanted someone that could capture our informal, fun, cheeky nature and I found Emma Pointon.  Emma was fabulous to work with and we have some brilliant memories of the day courtesy of her work.  She uploaded a photo to her Instagram account on the day with the title “my cheeks hurt from laughing with these two all day”.  Yep, she totally got us.

Getting married on a Sunday turned out to be a blessing as it meant that every single supplier we wanted was available, from the ceremony and reception venues to the cake maker, wedding cars to photographer.  Even better, I was able to confirm them all within three weeks of getting engaged.  How lucky is that?!

Below are five things I think you need to consider when planning your wedding:

  1. Stick to a budget – We had a rough budget in mind and I kept a running total of how much I had been quoted, how much of a deposit I’d paid and how much was remaining.  Try not to go over it.  It’s one day.  One important and memorable day, but all too quickly it’ll be over.
  1. Stick to your decisions – I follow a Facebook wedding page and the number of brides selling their several thousand dollar dresses because they changed their mind astounds me.  If you don’t absolutely love it in the store, do not buy it.  This applies to every decision you make and leads me to point 3.
  1. Go with your gut – Our wedding flowers were very disappointing, all because I wanted to save money.  If I’d gone with my gut, I’d have chosen the slightly more expensive florist who I have no doubt would have delivered exactly what we wanted.  Now, when I look at our wedding photos, I see my husband’s ugly carnation buttonhole instead of the rose that I thought I was getting and that we’d paid for.
  1. Change the day – if some key element isn’t available on the day that you want, consider a Friday or a Sunday, or really any day of the week that you like.  Who says we have to get married on a Saturday?
  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff – Only you will know that the bouquet was supposed to be bigger, or the salt and pepper squid was meant to be in take-away boxes.  Your guests don’t know what you have planned, so if something goes wrong, take a deep breathe, kiss your husband/wife and let it go.

And remember that at the end of the day, what is important is marrying the person that you love.  If you manage to achieve that, the rest is just window dressing.

By following the above tips, you to can plan a wedding in just 4.5 months.