Plan a Wedding in less than 6 Months with these Simple Steps

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Image by Pepper Nix exclusively for Mountainside Bride

On a tight timeline?

You're not alone.

Many mountain brides are planning their weddings in less than six months.

In fact, 2013 was the year of mountain brides on tight timelines. We featured weddings that were planned in less than a month, and ones planned in as little as 10 Days. And you know what? They were GORGEOUS!

I've been getting more and more questions from readers about how to plan a stunning mountain wedding in record time.

Here are some tips for planning the mountain wedding of your dreams in six month or under.

Get a wedding planner

It's hard enough to plan an elaborate party for 200 of your closest friends and family (read: a wedding) by yourself in a year, especially if you've never done it before. Now reduce the allotted time by half and things can get stressful quickly.

Your best bet is to hire a professional wedding planner. A planner can help you find top vendors last minute, ensure that you're not paying too much, and offer you all possible options. She can also expertly re-adjust the traditional wedding planning timeline and make it fit your abbreviated schedule.

Keep in mind that the more elaborate you want your wedding to be, the more you'll need professional help.

Set you budget and establish your priorities

I've said this before, but it becomes more important than ever to set priorities and establish a budget when you're on a tight schedule. There are a lot of moving parts to a wedding, you'll need a solid budget and priority list to stay on track while making decisions quickly.

Most wedding planners suggest you have no more that 3 major priorities. You may want great music, stunning photography, and a romantic honeymoon. Fine. Put your energies into these first and go with a play-by-the-numbers option for the rest.

Book your must-haves and priorities first.

It may seem impossible to plan you wedding in less than six months when you look at those crazy comprehensive wedding timelines and checklists, but you can do it. In fact, if you've nailed down your budget and priorities, your halfway there.

Now you need to book the big items. Use your first month of planning to book your venue, purchase your dress (both of which are needed for ANY wedding), and secure vendors for your top priorities.

Again, there are two things that every bride needs no matter what: a venue and a dress. Here are some tips for securing each item in a hurry.

Venue & caterer

If a stunning venue and/or amazing food is on your list of priorities, you'll spend a bit more energy finding the perfect fit. But you still need to get this done fast! Enlist your planner to help you narrow down options and arrange site visits.

If your venue and catering is not on your list of top three priorities, look for a venue that offers packages that include catering, setup, tear down, and a venue coordinator to keep everything on track. The venue may also have a cake option.

Wedding Gown

Custom and designer wedding gowns can take up to eight months to make and taylor. If you're pressed for time, consider off-the-rack options like samples or gently used gowns. Visit your local bridal salon for selections, or check out Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses or Once Wed for gently used gowns. Even with off-the-rack and gently used gowns, you'll want to check this item off your list early to accommodate dry cleaning and fittings.

Stay flexible

This is a crucial part of planning a wedding at breakneck speed. Yes, you can still find plenty of high-quality vendors in less than six months. No, you may not get your first choice. The reality is, many brides book their venues, photographers, florists, and caterers a year or more in advance.

If you cannot secure your first choice, ask them if they have any recommendations for a similar vendor that will suit your style and budget. Again, you planner can help you identify your options.

Additional wedding planning resources and articles