How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Three Months
If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. – Bruce Lee
Wedding planning can be overwhelming at the best of times, but when you’re doing it at short notice, you need to be organized and decisive to pull it off. Planning a wedding requires the newlyweds-to-be to juggle many tasks all at once, and in between florist visits, bridal salon appointments, and negotiating with vendors, it’s easy to forget what has to be done by when. That said, planning a wedding in a matter of weeks is possible! You just need to be willing to make quick decisions and some compromises! When you have tight timelines, you just have to decide which aspects of your wedding are essential, and which are extras that you can live without. To help you get to grips quickly, we’ve put together an essential guide on how to plan a wedding in three months.
3 Months Before Your Wedding
Arrange the legalities
This one is essential to do first! Make sure you get the legalities organized as soon as possible – apply for your license and you can edit the finer details later.
Make a guestlist
A Family Affair: the guest list is a tough one and one of the earliest decisions you and your fiancé will have to make. Do you want a small wedding or a large one? Keep in mind that a significant number of folks will be no-shows, especially if it’s a destination event. After adding your immediate and extended family, close friends, and work colleagues, you may have to whittle down ruthlessly. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone you know nor everyone who has ever invited you to your wedding (however if you did attend, you might want to consider adding them to the list).
Decide on a date
Especially for a destination wedding, fixing a day on the calendar is essential in maintaining a clear vision of your wedding plans and start planning for the trip! Three months is not a lot of time but still, it is enough time to have a beautiful wedding in Greece – and all over Europe. Take advantage of the friendlier rates and accommodation fees and book your flight tickets and stay as quick as possible to ensure availability!
Book your venue
Once you have a date and an idea of your guest list, the most important piece that needs to fall into place is the location. Decide if you want indoor or outdoor; religious or secular; and whether or not you want the ceremony, location, and accommodations to be in the same place. This may be the area you have to compromise on the most, but why not a change in perspective that means you end up with exactly what you dreamed of. Many of the couples that booked us for their elopement said that even though they expected availability limitations they were able to find their dream date because of postponements. Even though there are still a lot of weddings postponed for next year, the newly freed dates can work for couples planning a wedding in three months or couples who opt for an elopement with each other or a handful of friends.
Text/email a save the date to your guests and gather guests’ addresses
One of the fastest ways to inform guests of your wedding is to send them a virtual save-the-date, by email or text. Also, many creative studios offer save-the-dates in digital form, solving the big problem of time for a wedding. Since you’re planning a destination wedding, letting your guests know the soonest possible is crucial, giving them all the time they could have to book accommodation, work schedule, and flight tickets.
Hire a planner or stylist
The help of a professional is very important, especially for destination weddings. If you have a wedding planner and an ample budget, you can pull off incredible things in three months. Booking the celebrant, tackling the paperwork, and making sure your venue and vendor contracts are eligible and taken care of are only a few of the things you need help with when planning a wedding. For destination weddings in the Greek islands, a wedding planner is very important as it will be your eyes and ears to a foreign country you might not have to visit prior to your wedding date.
Book your photographer and videographer
A picture is worth a thousand words: your wedding photographer may be the most important vendor you hire. Long after the band has finished playing and the cake has been consumed, your photos and your memories are what remain to memorialize this one incredibly. With dates getting crossed our calendars very quickly, making sure you hire the professionals you want is a top priority. Again, with cancelations and postponements, your favorite wedding photographer might be available on such short notice. Although three months are not a large amount of time, it’s not completely off reach if your lucky and have done your research.
Go dress/suit shopping
Many bridal boutiques consider anything less than six months a rush order! Ask your wedding party (if you’re having one) and start arranging their outfits. It Takes Two to Tango: one of the most important lessons of wedding planning is: don’t forget your groom. While men are genetically disinterested in almost every aspect of the prep, leaving the lion’s share of agonizing and color-matching to the bride, find things that do matter to your fiancé and put him in charge of those items.
Order your wedding cake and Research stationery
It’s time to start planning for your cake and stationery. Again, your wedding planner will help you with that or if you’re tackling this yourself, make sure you check Instagram accounts and portfolios. For a destination wedding, choosing local vendors and professionals will solve a lot of your problems!
Book wedding accommodation
Again, booking your wedding accommodation is one of the first things you’ll need to do. Luckily, hotels, villas, and estates are reopening, make sure you snug the date that works for you.
Consider a private villa as a wedding venue and accommodation lot
Booking a private villa for your wedding ceremony gives you so much freedom and safety covid-wise. Also, many villas and holiday homes can be used as accommodating lots for you and your guests, cutting negotiations and hotel research in half.
Food for thought: Take a look at our extensive guide of destination wedding advice you need to know!
2 Months Before Your Wedding
Book your honeymoon
The exciting part and part of the reason to have a destination wedding. Don’t forget to check your passports and arrange vaccinations if required. Luckily, Greece has a stunning collection of locations to choose from and you’ll love all of them.
Send your wedding invitations and gather RSVPs
Digital or printed, now’s the time to take care of your wedding invitations and deliver them to your friends and family that will be there on your wedding day.
Check with your planner and plan your ceremony, book your ceremony musicians, wedding transport, and everything else you’ll be needing on the day of the wedding. Also, don’t forget to choose a date for your hen or stag parties (a joint one is a good idea if you’re really tight for time).
Moreover, arrange a hair and makeup trial if you can and make bookings. Your planner probably will network you with the makeup artist and hairstylist. If your professional lives in the country of the destination wedding, arrange for an online meetup to discuss how you’d like your hair and makeup on the day and share with them inspiration pics that’ll help them understand exactly what you’re thinking for your wedding day.
Last but not least, buy your wedding rings! Go wedding band shopping with your fiance and have your rings ready for the big day!
1 Month Before Your Wedding
Your wedding is almost here! Finalize your outfit; lingerie, shoes, accessories, and make final alterations to your wedding attire. Also, finalize your wedding party outfits and bridesmaids’ dresses if you’re having them. Also, confirm details on flowers and decor with your planner, caterer, and florist. Also, Make an on-the-day timeline – your wedding planner however may be on that! Don’t forget to organize gifts for family, wedding party, or any helpers. Also, now’s the time to review the final RSVP list of who will attend your destination wedding and call any guests who have not yet responded.
Food for thought: Our tips on how to make your wedding more meaningful!
The Week of Your Wedding
Arrive at your wedding destination. That’s the most important part of the whole wedding journey. Make sure you and your guests are safe, comfortable and take extra caution to the whole trip!
Confirm an on-the-day timeline for the couple, wedding party, and suppliers. Make sure you give the venue coordinator, planner, or wedding party your timeline and contact info for all suppliers. Make any last-minute confirmations/changes with suppliers and make bank transfers or organize cash for any final balances to be paid on the day of your wedding.
Now is the perfect time to do a last-minute pampering and beauty prep and do a full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil. Now’s the time to collect suits; check you have all the ties/socks/cufflinks.
Extra tip: Focus on quick yet thoughtful decision
As with wedding planning over a longer period, you should do your research and really consider the choices you make and the suppliers you book. That said though, planning a wedding in three months requires you to get through those initial bookings quickly, not to mull too much between two similar options, and once you have made a decision, move on to the next task on the list and don’t look back!
Ultimately, the devil is in the details, and after months of planning, it goes by so fast. Things will go wrong, but you won’t remember them; the only thing that really matters at the end of this one incredible day, is that you will be husband and wife. Planning a wedding in a matter of weeks is all-encompassing. If you have a year to plan, there are often whole months in the middle when there’s nothing on your wedding to-do list. But there’s something great about having less time too – you don’t have to wait as long to marry your other half, you have fewer opinions coming your way and less time to stress. Try to enjoy the planning, because it’ll be over before you know it! Indulge in all things pre-wedding!