Sometimes life moves fast, so you may have found yourself unexpectedly planning a wedding at the last minute. First of all, congratulations! No matter the reason for planning your big day in a rush, enjoy the whirlwind of emotions. But, after the excitement wears off, you may also be feeling overwhelmed by the to-do lists, decisions and expenses of last minute wedding planning.
The good news is that it is absolutely possible to organize a wedding on a rapid timeline, and we’re here to help you create a day that feels special and elevated. Follow along for our wedding planning tips, tricks, and cheat codes to help you bring your dream wedding to life… soon!
What is a last-minute wedding?
While the ideal wedding planning timeline looks different for everyone, most people start the process at least a year out. If you’re planning a wedding within a few months or sooner, then yours will be considered a last-minute wedding.
While it’s absolutely possible to put together a wedding on a shortened timeline, there may be certain obstacles that need to be considered. Here are our last minute wedding ideas to make the planning process a breeze.
Last minute wedding planning: get organized
After the initial celebrations with your new fiance and family, the key to planning a last minute wedding is to start ASAP. With so much to do, it’s worth breaking the event down into bite-sized chunks that will keep you calm and on track. Having a last minute wedding checklist is key, and it will help make up for lost planning time.
If you’re ready to get started on your last minute wedding planning, here is how we recommend approaching the organization process.
Set a realistic timeline and budget
If you’re planning a last minute wedding, the chances are that you already know when you want to get married. Whether you have a specific date in mind, a date you’d like to be married by, or just a rough idea of when the big day will be, take a look at the calendar to start building your timeline. Of course, the further away you set your wedding, the more time you will have for planning, but a wedding can be planned in even a few weeks with the right attitude and planning!
Once you’ve figured out a wedding date and timeline, now is also the time to consider your budget. Having a clear understanding of how much you have to spend can help you narrow down your options and not waste time at each step. And don’t worry, a last minute wedding can feel like a financial shock, but it’s possible to plan a wedding for as little as $1000!
PRIORITIZE WHAT MATTERS MOST
Without the luxury of unlimited time to plan your wedding, you will realize that you may not be able to have it all at your last minute wedding. Maybe your dream wedding dress will take months to make, or perhaps your favorite photographer books out a year in advance. While it can feel discouraging to have reduced options, planning a last minute wedding is about prioritizing what matters most.
After all, this is a day to celebrate the start of the rest of your life! If your budget or timeline creates setbacks in your last minute wedding planning, think of it as an adventure with a lifetime of happiness waiting on the other side.
Find your wedding venue
The first big step in wedding planning is to find and secure a venue, as you will then have your date locked in. To avoid the extra hassle of guest transportation, a good tip is to choose a venue that can accommodate both your wedding ceremony and reception.
While many popular venues book up in advance, it’s always worth calling around as there may still be dates due to cancellations. To increase your chances of a venue being available, you could also consider planning your last minute wedding on a weekday.
Consider non-traditional wedding venues
Don’t get discouraged if your first choices for a wedding venue are unavailable or aren’t within your last minute budget. These days, there are so many creative and stylish wedding venue options that can work for even the most rushed wedding.
Some non-traditional wedding venues to consider include:
While the wedding venue is often the most expensive part of a wedding, many of these may be much more budget-friendly or even free!
Lock in vendors
While you don’t have to outsource every step of your wedding, it’s important to book your vendors ASAP. Some of the vendors you may be considering include:
- Photographer & videographer
- Caterer & wedding baker
- Make-up artist & hair stylist
- Band or DJ
If your top choices aren’t available, don’t get discouraged. Consider DIY-ing some of your services, like making your own wedding playlist, or finding alternate options, like getting your hair done at a local blowout bar. Trust that your wedding day will be perfect for you, and try to enjoy the planning process!
Create your guest list and send invitations
Just as vendors need to get you on their calendars, so do your guests. Whether you’re having a large celebration or a micro-wedding, you’ll want to send out invitations as soon as possible.
While there’s no limit to the size of your last minute wedding, you may find it easier to plan for a shorter guest list. Another tip is to send electronic invitations and have a wedding website - you don’t want snail mail taking up any more of your precious planning time!
Decide on a wedding theme
Once the basic logistics of where and when have been decided, it’s time to start planning the design details of your wedding. While the style and scale of your wedding is up to you, it can be super helpful to decide on a wedding theme right at the beginning. This means that every decision on flowers, decor, dresses and signage can be made with your theme in mind.
Some considerations to help narrow down your wedding theme include the season, the vibe of the venue and your overall unique style as a couple. These will help inform your dress code, color palette, floral mood board and design inspirations. This is also a great time to start creating a Pinterest board to keep all your ideas in one place!
To get your imagination going, here are some wedding color palette ideas from Ling’s Moment.
Perfect for a rustic fall wedding, the warm tones of the Terracotta wedding collection are vibrant and passionate.
Find your wedding party outfits
For many brides, going wedding dress shopping is one of the first (and most exciting!) steps of wedding planning. If you’re having a last minute wedding, however, you may not have as many options to find your wedding dress, tux or wedding party outfits within the available time.
To speed up the process, consider online, ready-to-wear or rental options. Try ordering a range of different styles, trying them on at home, and then returning the ones that aren’t quite right. And don’t underestimate the power of a local tailor or seamstress when it comes to perfecting your wedding day look last minute! Although, you may need to fork over a rush fee.
And as an alternative, consider ditching the wedding norms altogether! Whether it’s a more casual dress code for your guests, a fabulous thrifted find for the groom, or a playful suit for the bride, it’s your day to express yourself any way you like.
Gather your wedding decor and florals
Once you’ve decided on a wedding theme, it’s time to start collecting everything you’ll need for the big day. Some venues have all-inclusive packages, but if it’s the last minute you may prefer to take the decor design into your own hands.
Faux florals: the best solution for a last-minute wedding
Without a doubt, our top tip for planning a last minute wedding is to use faux florals. Not only are they much more affordable than real flowers, artificial arrangements from Ling’s Moments are a fast and easy way to transform any wedding day.
From your ceremony flowers to your reception centerpieces to your bridal bouquet, faux flowers are a convenient and accessible option. They won’t wilt, aren’t restricted by seasonal availability, and can be set up in advance. Plus, you can get them fast! Let us know the date of your wedding with your order, and your stunning Ling’s Moment flowers will be with you within 7 business days.
Hassle-free, pre-arranged wedding flower packages
To make your last minute wedding planning even easier, Ling’s Moment also offers wedding flower packages that are pre-arranged for your convenience. Simply choose your color palette and then decide if you want a bridal flower package, a venue flower package or our deluxe wedding flower option. From table garlands to boutonnieres, you will receive a convenient, premium package that will help you elevate even the most last minute wedding
Ask your family or friends to help
One of the most useful, yet often underestimated, tips for last minute weddings is to take advantage of your community support. Asking your friends and family to help bring your wedding day to life can help ease some of the stress and will remain a precious memory in the future. From calling around to venues and vendors, researching dresses or even making the wedding cake, now is a time to lean on your loved ones.
Can you have a last minute wedding?
Okay, so you understand the general way to plan a last minute wedding. But is it actually realistic for you and your timeline? Your wedding day is an important life event, and it’s normal to not want to go into it stressed and rushed.
While it may feel overwhelming, try to remember that it really is just a day to celebrate your love. The extra details and luxuries are nice, but what’s important is that you and your fiance are making a commitment to each other. The rest is just a bonus!
Is it possible to plan a wedding in a month?
Yes! While it will feel like a whirlwind, use our last minute wedding checklist above to bring your wedding day to life within a month. It will be a tight timeline, so here are some things to consider:
Manage your expectations
This sounds like a negative, but it doesn’t have to be! A month is a short time frame to plan a wedding, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to not compare your journey to anyone else’s. Enjoy the process, revel in the chaos, and get excited - what an exciting time of your life!
You may get frustrated when some of your vendors aren’t able to work with you on such short notice, so being prepared to do some things yourself will set you up for success. From decor design to catering, taking control of some of the elements of your wedding day can feel empowering and exciting.
How do you plan a wedding in a hurry? As in… 2 weeks?
Hey, sometimes weddings happen on a super short timeline, like within a few weeks! If this is you, you’re probably aware that it’s going to be a rush. But just because you’ve only got a few weeks to pull this wedding together, doesn’t mean it won’t be the best day of your life! Here are some tips to plan a super last minute wedding:
Keep it small
If you only have a few weeks to plan your wedding, our biggest tip is to keep it small. A pop-up or micro-wedding is a fun, spontaneous way to celebrate your love, and will eliminate a lot of the decision-making that comes with a bigger wedding. There’s a reason elopements are so popular!
Have a surprise wedding
Some of the most memorable weddings are the ones that the guests don’t even know are happening. A fun last minute wedding idea is to invite your family and friends around for a party, and then surprise them with having the ceremony there and then! This format takes away a lot of the pressures of traditional wedding planning, and will make for a seriously great story.
Getting ready the week before your wedding
While planning a last minute wedding may feel chaotic, it’s important to center yourself in the days and weeks leading up to the wedding. Here’s a brief checklist of things you may have forgotten.
Make any self-care appointments
Don’t forget to book in to get your hair, nails or tan done. These simple appointments can do wonders for helping you feel your best on your wedding day. Although, now probably isn’t the best time to try out a new hairstyle!
Write your vows
If you’re planning on writing your own wedding vows, don’t stress yourself out by leaving it to the last minute. Take some time the week before to start writing, as you’ll then have ample time to edit and practice your special words.
GATHER ANY SPECIAL GIFTS
Whether it’s a gift for your fiance, like a watch, or a special token for your grandmother, like a corsage, make sure you have them ordered. It’s these little details that can make even the most last minute wedding feel super special!
Create a playlist of your favorite songs
Whether you’re having a band, a DJ, or are organizing your own music, take some time to choose your favorite songs. You may want to gather different music to walk down the aisle, for cocktail hour, for your first dance, and for after-dinner dancing. This is a fun task, and will help to get you in the mood!
While planning a last minute wedding may feel hectic or daunting, the truth is that your dream day can be pulled together in just a few months or even weeks. By getting organized, working through our wedding planning checklist, and deciding what’s really important for your big day, you may be surprised at what you can plan in a short timeframe.
And to help make your last minute wedding ideas a reality, Ling’s Moment is here at every step of the way. Our premium artificial flowers will help cut the cost and confusion out of wedding decor planning, and can help you create your dream wedding day. Discover bridal flowers, ceremony and reception decor, DIY options and wedding flower packages that will elevate even the most spontaneous wedding day.
If you’re planning your own last minute wedding, make sure to share it with us! We’d love to see how you style our timeless floral arrangements, so make sure to tag us over on IG at @lingsmoment. Congratulations, and happy planning!