You've heard of the hit TV show "90 Day Fiancé", but what happens when that time crunch applies to your wedding?
In a perfect world, you'd have at least 6 months to a year to plan. But we all know how real life goes: Maybe your future spouse is in the military, or you need to move for a job, or you're both just eager to get married now rather than later.
Whatever your reason for expediting your nuptials, we've got you covered with our incredibly efficient 90-Day Wedding Planning Checklist. Feel free to print out this pretty PDF, 3-hole punch it, and get to checkin.
10–12 Weeks To Go…
When you're on such a short timeline, most of the heavy lifting will need to be done upfront. But hey, just think: In 3 short months you'll be living the married life with your best friend. *throws confetti*
- Establish a budget and stick to it. When you don't have much time, you need to figure out what your bottom line is—fast!
- Put together your guest list with that budget in mind. Just remember that with this tight timeframe many of your guests may already have plans, so don't stress about adding a few extra invitees.
- Find your wedding style. Picking a theme early on, or at least a color palette, can really help you nail down all of the other details. Choose a style you vibe with and let the rest fall into place.
- Find a venue for your ceremony and reception, and set your date! Know what questions to ask when evaluating a wedding venue.
- TIP: Be reasonable. A lot of venues and vendors book several months to YEARS in advance. Your dream venue may not be available, so be open to looking at places you might not have originally considered.
- Sign up for MyGuide. We'll send you seriously useful—and sassy!—wedding-planning emails with tons of practical advice.
- Send out Save The Dates, like NOW! Ditch snail mail save-the-dates for super-easy emails or a pretty and informative wedding website.
8–10 Weeks To Go…
As overwhelming as planning your wedding in 90 days may seem, the best approach is to focus on the big-ticket items, and cut out most of the "extras". (No, you really don't need that chocolate fondue tower.)
- Decide what you can reasonably do yourself—and where you can enlist the help of others. Maybe you're fine with hitting up Trader Joe's to DIY a bridal bouquet, but you know for a fact that a hand-lettered sign is not in your wheelhouse. Think carefully about what's worth your blood, sweat, and tears, then forget the rest. (We're kidding about the blood part. Mostly.)
- Hire a Wedding Planner if things get too overwhelming. They're experts at making wedding miracles happen when the clock is ticking. Plus, they can hook you up with their preferred vendor list. #twobirdsonestone
- Find your vendors. Again, stay flexible because some may be unavailable with such short notice. Here are a few of the must-haves:
- Photographer / Videographer
- Oh, and when you hire a vendor, get all the details in writing!
- Are you having a wedding party? If so, let them know and decide on their day-of attire ASAP. Having a bride tribe or groom's group is great, but forgoing bridesmaids and groomsmen could also simplify plans.
- Find your wedding attire.
- Head to a trunk show, sample sale, or even a larger box store like Nordstrom's or BHLDN. Or heck, just buy a LWD off the rack!
- For guys, it's a little easier to get a wedding ensemble at the last minute. A quick-and-easy suit or tux rental is the way to go.
- Plan for about 8 weeks of alteration time (so you should hit up a local seamstress/tailor right away, if necessary.)
- Get your beauty and fitness regimen in gear. A workout routine could be a major stress-reliever during this time. (Or just keep wine handy, we won't judge.)
- Order your wedding invites. You'll want to give friends and family as much notice as possible to make travel arrangements.
- TIP: Check out these all-in-one wedding invitations to save on time and that precious cash money. Yes, puh-lease!
- Start thinking about your honeymoon, if you're into that.
- Check out our Plan A Honeymoon section for stateside options—no passport required!
- Remember: There's no rule that says you NEED to go on a honeymoon right after your wedding. Plan a "mini-moon" for the weekend at a cute bed & breakfast and save the big trip for a few months to a year down the road. Waaay more practical.
6–8 Weeks To Go…
You're 6 weeks out! Now's the time to make sure you have all necessary vendors locked and loaded. Your wedding invitations should go out soon, and you basically want all "big ticket" items in order.
- Finalize vendors and other day-of helpers. This may include:
- DJ or Musicians
- Cake Maker
- TIP: If necessary, your makeup artist could be your über-talented cousin, your cake could come from Costco, and your wedding day 'do' could be a gorgeous Uptini from DryBar—and that's a-okay! Rest assured, your day will be fab.
- Register and update your wedding website so your guests can get to shopping. Make things easy on yourself by registering on a site like Blueprint Registry, which lets you and your fiancé skip the store and add items from any website.
- Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner location, or tap a grandparent with a really big backyard. (Hellloooo, Luau BBQ!) But remember, if you're planning a small wedding or one without the traditional pomp and circumstance, you may not even need a rehearsal dinner! Just be sure everyone involved is on the same page when the Big Day arrives.
- Reserve all necessary party rentals and linens, including an inclement weather backup, like a tent.
- Get those invites in the mail! PHEW.
4–5 Weeks To Go…
Woo hoo! By now, you basically have all the essentials lined up. Now you can begin working on the fun stuff. Do you want to purchase bridal party gifts? Something old, new, borrowed, and blue? Pretty ceremony programs? Fit those to-do tasks in here, along with the following:
- Check your state's requirements and make plans to obtain your marriage license. Some states have waiting periods as short as 0–24 hours, while others can take as long as six days (like Wisconsin!).
- Purchase wedding rings, if you haven't already. They don't have to be expensive, either.
- Order wedding favors for your guests. If you're going the DIY route, keep them simple so you're not pulling your hair out trying to finish them in time.
- If you have a wedding party, give them a nudge—make sure they've ordered all necessary attire.
- Start researching name-change requirements. If that's your thing, of course.
2–3 Weeks To Go…
It's getting real...
- Finalize and confirm:
- Wedding vows and readings with your officiant.
- Menu with your caterer.
- Shot list with your photographer/videographer.
- Song list for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception with your DJ and/or band/musicians—or whoever is running your playlist!
- Who's giving the toasts.
- Create your wedding-day timeline. Your guests, your fiancé, and even your vendors are going to need a game plan as to how you're getting from morning mimosas to the DJ's last call.
- Hunt down whoever hasn't RSVP'd yet. Sigh.
1 Week To Go…
The theme of this week? Finalize!!
- Give your caterer/venue the final guest count and day-of timeline.
- Arrange seating and create the seating chart and/or place cards, if necessary.
- Pick up your gown if you don't already have it. Be sure to try it on with your shoes, undergarments, and veil. Swoon.
- Confirm arrival times and finalize the wedding timeline with vendors and the wedding party.
- Put together your own Wedding Emergency Kit. You can never be too prepared!
- Pack for the wedding night and your honeymoon/mini-moon, if you're going on one!
Last Minute Essentials…
It's crunch time, yo!
- Figure out tips and final payments for vendors. Put them in clearly marked envelopes and give them to the Best Man or another person you trust to hand out at the reception.
- TIP: Though not necessary, consider gifting small but thoughtful things—like a bottle of Prosecco or a gift card for a mani-pedi—to any friends that acted as your bride tribe, glam squad, playlist DJ, etc. #youdabest
- Assign someone to pack up your gifts/belongings after the reception (including the top tier of your cake!).
- Thank your BFF for agreeing to return the groom's tux and other rental items the day after the wedding.
- Make sure all wedding-day items are packed/laid out and ready to go the night before your big day. Don't forget the rings and marriage license!
- Take deep breaths. Stop to appreciate your soon-to-be husband or wife because the day you've been waiting for is finally here.
Back to Reality…
Congrats you newlywed, you.
- Write and send thank-you cards—don't procrastinate!
- Complete your registry and exchange any unwanted or duplicate gifts.
- Have your wedding dress cleaned and preserved by a reputable company.
- Keep in touch with your photographer/videographer to work on albums, DVDs, etc.
- Enjoy wedded bliss...
Did you snag our pretty printable PDF yet?
Click to download our 90-Day Wedding Planning Checklist!
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