Fast-tracking your wedding planning? Although the typical wedding planning timeline is around a year, there are plenty of instances where the couple chooses to have a shorter engagement. If you’re planning a wedding in 5 months, take a deep breath! It may may seem difficult and overwhelming at first, but with proper planning, it’s very possible.

Planning a wedding in 5 months means that you’ll have to make decisions faster. For some, that can be extremely liberating. You can spend less time second-guessing, and more time celebrating your special day to come! Brideside has some great tips that can show you how to plan a quick wedding. Keep reading to learn how to get the wedding of your Pinterest board dreams on an expedited timeline.

lavender bridesmaid dresses from brideside complete the dream wedding
These lavender bridesmaid dresses from Brideside are a dream, and they ship quickly! Check out Brideside shade ‘Macaron’ today! Photo Credit: Cat Satre Photography

How to Plan a Wedding in 5 Months

  • Book All of Your Major Vendors Right Away

What typically takes a few months to iron out, you’ll likely have to do in the first month. Save some time by building your wedding budget and making your guest list right away. Doing this will help you make a more informed choice when you venue shop, and you’ll also be glad you did this when it’s time to send save the dates. Once you have an estimate on the number of guests, you can look for an accommodating venue.

Particularly in bigger cities, popular venues start to book up around a year in advance. Still, that doesn’t mean you’ll be completely out of options. Be open-minded to different venue types; the right decor can really transform a space! You could also consider getting married on a Friday or Sunday, as these days book up far slower. If you’re set on a Saturday and really having a hard time finding a space, expand your scope to nearby cities and towns or explore non-traditional wedding venues. You might also want to consider a location that is closest to the majority of your guests; this can be very helpful for those that can’t travel on a shorter notice.

If you can, look into venues that have inclusive wedding packages. You’ll save time if the catering is onsite and you don’t have to vet and hire a separate company. Many venues will also offer plating, candles, linens, etc., saving you time from having to source these individually. You can also cut down time by booking a ceremony and venue space that are in the same location or close to each other. This way, you don’t have to worry about coordinating transportation and extra time in between.

Once you’ve locked down the ceremony and reception venues and catering services, focus on the photographer and hotel room block. These are usually the next big items that need to get booked with advance notice. You’ll also want to book your wedding DJ or band at this time, and your florist. 

If you can, hire your wedding bakery too, unless your venue or catering already includes a wedding cake (many do!). In the event that nobody in town can make your cake for that weekend, don’t sweat it! Look into cakes from local grocery stores or other desserts your caterer can provide.

Find more tips on how to start planning a wedding here.

 bride and groom at wedding ceremony
Planning a wedding is a lot of work, but on the day of, it’ll all be worth it!
  • Consider a Professional Wedding Planner or Coordinator

A wedding planner or month-of coordinator can be a huge help for a planning wedding in five months or less. Depending on your specific need, a wedding planner, coordinator or both can really provide some much-needed guidance. What’s the difference? We’ll break it down for you:

  1. Wedding Planners: From the point of hire until the big day, your wedding planner will handle the logistics. They’ll recommend vendors, schedule and attend all vendor meetings, negotiate contracts, keep you on budget etc. A wedding planner is great for busy couples without an extra time to plan, or (you guessed it!) couples with a short planning timeline.
  2. Wedding Coordinators: Coordinators can be hired for to help you a few months prior to the wedding all the way up to the day of. Coordinators handle logistics closer to your date, tying up any loose ends as you’ll be super busy (and want to enjoy this special time, of course!). Day-of, coordinators will make sure everything goes smoothly and manage communication with all of your vendors.

Although it is an added cost, wedding planners specialize in helping your vision come to life, and they know all the right people to help you do it. Coordinators also take a lot of your plate leading up to and on the big day. Ultimately, It’s a huge help and a big relief to know a professional is there to guide and support you! 

  • Time-Saving Tips for Save the Dates

Once you’ve nailed down the date for your wedding (pop some bubbly for that!), you’ll want to send out save the dates. Save the dates don’t need to have the venue listed (good news if you’re still ironing that out), but it should let guests know the city you’re planning to have your wedding in. Local save the dates can be sent around 4 months out, but you’ll want to send the notice to out-of-town guests even sooner if you can. The full invitation with RSVPs can hit mailboxes two months prior to the wedding. In a huge time crunch? Some say it’s ok to skip the save the date and just send an invite instead.

Something nice to add to the save the date (especially for a wedding that is happening in the next few months) is a link to a wedding website that includes registry information, schedule and travel accommodations. Your out-of-town guests will need ample time to book flights and hotels, and it’s so helpful to have all this information ready for them. The Knot has as great list of wedding website recommendations; most are free and easy to use! Another benefit of a wedding website is that you can update it as you go and have more information. Instead of answering a bunch of the same questions over and over again, kindly direct guests to the website.

Digital save the dates are a great option, both for budget and timing. Or, you can do a semi-custom save-the-date mailer from a company that provides templated designs. Look for a vendor that will print the addresses on the envelopes, so all you have to do is add stamps. You’ll be grateful you don’t have to hand-write every address; we guarantee it!

  • Don’t Settle — Find Your Dream Wedding Dress! (Yes, You Can!)

Many brides fear that if they won’t get a dress they love when shopping on a shorter timeline. If you need a wedding dress 5 months from your wedding, don’t fear! Plenty of wedding dress shops like Brideside have tons of great styles for you to try on. 

Brideside Bride has a curated collection of wedding dresses from designer brands like Amsale Nouvelle, Jenny by Jenny Yoo, Allure and our own exclusive label: Ellera. Our dresses generally ship in 16 weeks (about 4 months). With alterations, that might be a tight timeline; however, many brands do ship faster for a rush fee. Some of our brands even have their best-sellers in stock to ship ready to ship, which can speed up the timeline considerably. 

Brideside’s bridal stylists are experts when it comes to product and delivery times. They want to help you find quick-ship wedding dresses a beautiful style that you’ll love. With wedding dresses priced around $2,500, there are many great budget-friendly options for brides on a faster timeline. 

Brideside Ellera lace wedding dress
You can’t get this gorgeous lace wedding dress anywhere else! Book an appointment at Brideside Bride and ask for Clara from the Ellera collection!

If you’re on the hunt for plus-size wedding dresses, Brideside has a great selection to choose from.We also carry sizes 04–28 in samples, so it’ll be easy to try on a wedding dress that’s actually close to your size. You and your friends can look forward to sipping on Champagne (on us!) and making lots of great memories while you try on beautiful wedding gowns.

Brideside has bridal showrooms in Chicago and New York (with more on the way!). Book an appointment today to come in.

  • Get the Bridal Party Started!

Once your wedding dress is picked out, it’s time to get the rest of the bridal party outfitted. Thankfully, Brideside is a one-stop shop for all of your bridal fashion needs. Get paired with a dedicated stylist who will be with you every step of the way, saving you time by working directly with your bridal party to coordinate scheduling, sizing and orders. 

 Brideside has many wonderful collections of bridesmaid dresses to choose from. You’ll find dresses from designer brands like Jenny Yoo, Sorella Vita, Amsale, Dessy and Adrianna Papell, as well as our exclusive Brideside and Aura collections. Looking for affordable bridesmaid dresses? Check out our under $200 bridesmaid dresses.

Brideside has great options for a bridal party on a short timeline. Contact us today to get paired with a stylist who can help you find bridesmaid dresses that ship quickly. You can also check our ready-to-ship bridesmaid dresses page for in-stock options.

Neutral bridesmaid dresses from Aura by Brideside
Find these gorgeous neutral mix and match bridesmaid dresses in the Brideside Aura collection! (Love the wedding dress? It’s Ellera Louise).
  • Enjoy all the special details

With so much big-picture planning in the works, it’s easy to lose sight of the small things. First of all, take time to enjoy wedding planning! Although you’re in more of a hurry, elements of wedding planning — menu tasting, wedding dress shopping, scouting bands — are still pretty fun! Hold on to the special moments; take lots of pictures and taste everything!

Over the next few months leading up to your wedding, be sure to take time to just focus on your partner and celebrate the beauty of your relationship. Think about what makes your relationship unique and incorporate elements of your personality into your wedding day. Maybe you get creative with the guest book; could it be a giant Jenga game that people sign or a cool painting with space for little notes? Or perhaps you offer bags of your favorite snack in lieu of passed appetizers at your cocktail hour. Do you have a silly song that reminds you of your partner? Whatever it is, think about one small, but genuine way to showcase your journey and personality! 

There are lots of little details you’ll have to keep in mind leading up to the wedding day. Ring bands, for instance, should be ordered a few months prior to the wedding; they take a little time once ordered to arrive in the correct size. In order to keep track of small items like this, work off of a wedding planning checklist. 

  • Don’t Forget to Ask For Help!

Planning a wedding in 5 months is going to feel like a whirlwind. With so many items to check off your wedding planning checklist, you might feel a little weary. Remember that you’ve got lots of people to go to for support. Your friends and family can help you with anything from managing the RSVP list to making place cards. Ask them for help, even if just for small things, so that you can focus on relaxing or crossing something else off the list. More often than not, people are happy to help.

In addition to bridal party styling, Brideside is also here for you with any major wedding questions or advice. So what are you waiting for? Take a deep breath and jump in to wedding planning!